Questions Emerge About Emergency Response Time In Aurora


Many questions still surround last week's tragedy in Aurora, not least being whether more lives could have been saved.

As police officers pleaded for all available medics to converge on the scene, 11 News has learned that a two-man ambulance crew and their vehicle were idling just a few miles away.

This crew, from the Cunningham Fire Protection District, was not called to the scene until 21 minutes into the shooting's chaotic aftermath.

Other nearby crews were dispatched even later: Denver Health Paramedics, who had two ambulances stationed eight minutes from the scene, was reportedly called three minutes after Cunningham was notified. West Metro Fire Rescue was received a call a full 15 minutes after Cunningham was requested, 36 minutes after the shooting.

Radio traffic shows emergency personnel struggled to grasp both the scope of the tragedy and mobilize a response. Four ambulances arrived within the first 10 minutes, but the need for more was so dire that roughly 11 minutes in, an officer said he was going to take a victim in his personal car.

Twenty-seven minutes in, officers were still using patrol cars as makeshift ambulances, and pleading for more medical personnel to respond.

Even for medical personnel that did arrive immediately, radio traffic indicates that it took 24 minutes before medical teams were allowed inside, where 10 people lay gravely wounded.

It's not clear whether a faster response would have saved more lives, but as with any event of this scale, there will always be lingering questions over what more could have been done.

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