Family says slow response time led to man's death - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Family says slow response time led to man's death

(WMC-TV) - The family of a 53-year-old man who died Sunday morning says his death could have been prevented. They say slow response time led to Nicky Burns' death.

After he collapsed in the yard, Burns' family says they performed CPR for 20 to 30 minutes while they waited for first responders to show up.

Burns died Sunday in Jackson, Tennessee, and his family says his death could have been prevented.

It has been a long few days for the Burns family.

"Feel tore up, sad, lost, hurt," said Burns' nephew, Bubba Simpson.

Burns became ill Friday night while at his sister's house.

"We called 911 but they didn't respond so we had to call again and they came," said his sister, Janie Simpson.

They took Burns outside, where his nephew and a neighbor, who is also a nurse, started CPR.

"First responders from Finley never showed up. Didn't nobody show up but two ambulances," continued Simpson, who was one of the people who performed CPR.

Even though Finley Fire Department is less than one mile away, county officials say no one from there was dispatched because it is a volunteer agency and is not staffed full time.

"Ain't but two blocks from the house, might have made a difference if they showed up, I don't know. I did all I could to help him 'til help got here," explained Simpson.

Dyer County's Emergency Management Agency director is looking into the case. He says there could have been some kind of miscommunication at the 911 dispatch office.

The Dyer County sheriff says the first 911 call was made at 7:26 p.m. Friday. The call was dispatched at 7:28.

The second 911 call came from Burns family at 7:32 p.m. and the first ambulance arrived on scene at 7:39 p.m.

The sheriff says the response time is better than average.

But the Burns family disagrees, saying someone should have been there much quicker.

"I'd like to know how come it happened ... 'cause they didn't come on down when we first called," said Janie Simpson.

"If the response time would have been sooner, it would have made a difference," added Burns' son, Wesley.

The Burns family tells Action News 5 that they spoke with a lawyer in Jackson about taking legal action against Dyer County after Nicky Burns death.

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