NORTHWOOD, OH (WTOL) – The city of Northwood is expanding its emergency response coverage hoping to improve response times. The move comes after a Northwood man died following a delayed response back in March.
Tim Mix, 67, was alert but having trouble breathing when his wife, Jeanne, called the police. But it took the department more than 27 minutes to respond, despite repeated calls for help.
"My husband just stopped breathing. What's the hold up? Why can't they be here? It's been 20 minutes," said Mix.
By the time first responders arrived it was too late, Mix had already died.
"I really hope that Northwood gets on the ball and does whatever it takes to make sure this community is covered 24/7," said Mix.
Now the city of Northwood is taking steps to help prevent something like that from happening again.
"We need to know someone is going to be there ready to respond, and that's the goal: increased safety for our residences," said Mayor Mark Stoner.
Due to budget constraints, there were no emergency medical technicians on duty at the time of Mix's death. Afterward, Northwood reinstated EMT coverage between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. Northwood has now found the money to pay for two first responders to be on duty around the clock.
"Safety wise, they're definitely going to be much safer now than they were before," said Stoner.
Northwood's new Fire Chief Joel Whitmore said the change will trim response times. Currently, it takes an average of eight minutes for a crew to get to an emergency from Station One, and 13 minutes from Station Two.
"This will definitely decrease response times. The goal of the program is to have two people on scene in an average of four to five minutes," said Whitmore.
The cost for the extra coverage is nearly $140,000, bringing the total for EMS to $250,000.
Northwood's mayor feels it is worth it if it prevents another death.
"It's significant, but the potential is there to save somebody's life, and you can't put a price on that," explained Stoner.
The expanded coverage in Northwood is set to begin Jan. 1. Meanwhile, the family of Tim Mix has filed a suit against the city. The case is still pending.
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