Durand Ford Jr., of Washington, D.C., was grieving. Now he's seething.
Ford received a $780.85 bill from District of Columbia Fire & EMS for an ambulance he called Jan. 1 to treat his father -- but Durand Ford Sr. died before the emergency vehicle arrived 33 minutes later, NBC Washington reports. The younger Ford said he was "angry" and "disturbed" over being billed.
NBC's search of records revealed that Ford made the 911 call at 1:25 a.m., after his father said he was short of breath. A firetruck arrived within nine minutes, but EMS took 22 minutes to reach out to another jurisdiction to send an ambulance, the station noted. Finally, one from Prince George's County arrived at 1:58 a.m., but the elder Ford had already passed away.
"Outrageous," screamed a New York Daily News headline. Commenters at Newser's site engaged in a heated debate about whether race -- Ford is black -- played a part in the slow reponse.
Ford Sr. died 13 days short of his 72nd birthday, according to his obituary in the Washington Post. He was an Air Force veteran and worked as an "advisory neighborhood commissioner" in D.C.'s Ward 7.
A current Ward 7 representative, D.C. Councilwoman Yvette Alexander, told NBC that D.C. Fire & EMS had not charged in the past for its services in similar situations.
D.C. Fire and EMS came under fire in August for allegedly delaying the transport of a 93-year-old woman with a head injury, according to Fox News.