With files from Anna Kalfa.
New details have emerged in connection with an attack on a South Surrey teen that resulted in his death.
In a letter obtained by CKNW through a Freedom of Information request, Surrey’s Fire Chief expresses concern about ambulance response times.
Despite CKNW reporter Janet Brown’s FOI request, the City of Surrey initially refused to release the letter.
Brown then appealed the decision to the FOI office in Victoria which eventually forced the city to produce it.
RCMP made three calls for emergency response
The letter from Surrey Fire Chief Len Garis to Executive Vice-President, Provincial Health Services Authority, Linda Lupini, in January 2015 starts off with, “I am writing to inform you about some serious concerns…as well as what appears to be inconsistencies with how the pre-hospital care system operates.”
Garis describes the series of events that unfolded before an ambulance finally arrived.
“Surrey RCMP contacted BC Ambulance Service for emergency response for 15-year-old Dario Bartoli in December, 2014 but was on hold for approximately three minutes before being answered.”
He says RCMP called BC Ambulance a second time to request an emergency response because they could not hear or confirm an ambulance was coming.
Finally he says the RCMP called Surrey Fire to ask for help.
“We wished we had done better”
Lupini says much has resulted from that night, including a review of what happened, and admits the Ambulance service could have done better.
“We will never know whether a quicker response time in this case with a different car would have yielded a different outcome. It may not have or it may have, those are things we don’t know, but regardless of whether it would have yielded a different outcome, we wished we had done better and as a result we used it as a very, very important learning opportunity and an event through which the analysis of which led us to improve our processes.”
Lupini says when an ambulance arrived, they spent 13 minutes on scene stabilizing Dario, and then it took three minutes to transport him Peace Arch Hospital.
Following the review, three additional ambulances were added in Surrey which has resulted in improved response times.
Listen to the full interview with Provincial Health Services Authority:
Call for funding
The union representing BC Paramedics says the BC Ambulance Association needs more funding.
Provincial president of the Ambulance Paramedics of BC, Bronwyn Barter says in 2012 a study showed 22 additional paramedic-staffed ambulances were needed in Metro Vancouver.
She says in 2015 the need grew to 25 additional ambulances.
“It’s time to bring those resources out, time to staff the ambulances, time to get the paramedics in here and people need to stop dying needlessly here.”
Barter says the end of the day, the reason it took so long for an ambulance to respond to Dario Bartoli was because of a lack of resources and not a fumbling of the ball.
Still no arrests in the case
Fifteen-year-old Dario Bartoli died from fatal injuries on December 14, 2014 after what homicide investigators say was a violent altercation in which they believe Bartoli and his 14-year-old friend were swarmed and assaulted by four to five other youth who were unknown to them.
It happened in Bakerview Park near 154th & 18 Avenue, and the two boys then fled to a nearby residence for help.
To date there have been no arrests in the ongoing homicide investigation.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the IHIT tipline at 1-877-551-4448, or if you wish to remain anonymous call Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
— IHIT (@HomicideTeam) December 14, 2014