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April 29, 2001

A 1-year-old Gilbert boy died Saturday after he slipped into his family's backyard pool.

A Southwest ambulance took 30 minutes to get to the scene after going to a similar address in Mesa, but fire officials say the delay didn't change the outcome. Gilbert Fire Department spokesman Alex Finter said the boy was being cared for by his 9-year-old sister when he slipped out the back door and fell into the unfenced pool at 2 p.m. He was in the water five to 10 minutes.

The baby was taken to Desert Samaritan Medical Center in a battalion chief's car after the ambulance failed to show.

"Unfortunately, the wait didn't contribute to the death. The baby had been down in the water too long," Finter said.

Southwest refused to provide details on the mix-up. Finter said the ambulance company could be fined $1,000 for excessive response time.

Reproduced with permission from:
The Arizona Republic
Byline: Judi Villa, Brent Whiting and Hernan Rozemberg
©Copyright 2001 Arizona Republic

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