The New York City Fire Department and the EMS union are debating why it took more than eight minutes to get an ambulance to a car accident that killed a 4-year-old girl.
Ariel Russo was hit by an SUV on the Upper West Side Tuesday.
The fire department admitted it took a 911 operator four minutes and 18 seconds to notify EMS, and it took three minutes and 52 seconds for an ambulance to arrive.
Cassano said a dispatcher left the terminal for a shift change and missed the calls, which were picked up when another dispatcher sat down.
He said he wasn't sure about the effect of those lost four minutes.
"I don't know if that four minutes would have made any difference," he said. "There were people on the scene administering to her. There were police officers on the scene. I know there were civilians on the scene. But for the family thinking that it made a difference, its just, you know, its unfortunate."
However, Israel Miranda, the president of the EMS and Fire Inspectors' Union, is laying the blame on the city's new 911 system, which has seen issues since a recent upgrade.
Miranda said the dispatcher, who has 20 years on the job, never got the message on her screen.
"In the last couple of weeks, we've had so much problems with this ICAD system," Miranda said. "It was dropping calls. Calls were showing up later. It was losing calls. And it's documented. For the commissioner to say that there's no problems with the system would be like hiding under a rock. Where you been the last two weeks?"
During the entire eight-minute span, police called 911 four times to try to get an ambulance to the scene while the girl was still conscious.
The 911 emergency dispatch system has had problems since its launch last week, according to officials
However, the city said there are kinks to be worked out any time a new system is put in place.
It brought in extra staff to try to keep New Yorkers from being affected.