Southfield fire chief investigating EMS response after boy dies - KMSP-TV

Southfield fire chief investigating EMS response after boy dies

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Southfield Fire Chief Keith Rowley (Credit: WJBK) Southfield Fire Chief Keith Rowley (Credit: WJBK)
SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) -

Southfield Fire Chief Keith Rowley is investigating the tragic death of 10-year-old Xavier Joe.  His mother said EMS didn't respond quickly enough to their calls for help.

"Our hearts go out to Miss Joe, and we can't imagine the heartache and grief the family must be feeling," said Rowley.

He is seeking answers for the family of Xavier Joe.  The boy had an asthma attack Monday night at his home at the Providence Place apartment complex, which is just a half mile from the hospital and a mile from the nearest fire house.  However, no one could get to Xavier in time to save him.

On Tuesday, Danielle Joe shared her family's tragedy with Fox 2.  Xavier had asthma attacks before.  He had all the medications.  They tried everything, but still he couldn't breathe.  His mother called 911 and said she was routed to Oak Park instead of Southfield dispatch.  When she reached Southfield, she was put on hold waiting and waiting all the while trying to comfort her son.

"The EMS said they could not find an EMS for my son," Xavier's mother said.

A neighbor tried to get Xavier into her car since his mother doesn't have a vehicle, but the boy collapsed.  The neighbor did CPR.  Paramedics did arrive, intubated Xavier, started an IV, took him to the hospital and continued CPR.

Xavier died.  Now the question is how could this happen?

The chief said part of the problem was so many resources were tied up at a house fire.  Neighbors thought a mother and her children were trapped inside.  Fortunately no one was inside, but the search and fighting the fire contributed to the delay in getting to Xavier.

"We take this very seriously.  Our normal response time is approximately four minutes," Rowley said.

The chief said an investigation is underway, but it appears it took 15 minutes from the time dispatch was notified to get a paramedic on scene.  The chief said they do have mutual aid and it's not clear yet why it took so long to get EMS to Xavier, but he is determined to find out.

Xavier Joe's funeral will be 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 6 at the Fellowship Chapel Church on West Outer Drive in Detroit.  His viewing will be October 5 from 3:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Pye Funeral Home.

If you would to help Xavier's family, a benefit will be held at the Opyum Lounge on Thursday, September 27 from 4:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. The Opyum is located at 24587 Eight Mile Road in Detroit. There is a $10 charge at the door.

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