Another lengthy delay after calling 911 for an ambulance

B.C. senior forced to soil herself on floor after nearly 3-hour ambulance wait, son says

A Vancouver man is angry and frustrated after his elderly mother suffered a fall at home, and then endured further humiliation due to what he says was a lengthy and unacceptable wait for an ambulance.

Ersilio Iacuitto said he received a frantic call from his 85-year-old mother Tarsilla Iacuitto, who lives two doors down from him, about half an hour after he’d last checked on her Friday afternoon.

“She goes, ‘Run,’ because I have fallen,” Ersilio recalled.

“I ran to the house and she was laying flat in front of the kitchen sink.”

Tarsilla, a diabetic with kidney problems who uses a walker, was hurt and in need of help.

Ersilio said he phoned 911 around 450 p.m., and was told by dispatchers to call back in 20 minutes if an ambulance hadn’t come.


“The poor lady was saying I’m in pain, I’m in pain, I’m in pain, and she had to go to the washroom,” he said.

Vancouver firefighters arrived in less than 20 minutes, said Ersilio, and checked his mother’s vital signs — but the ambulance was delayed.

“Ten minutes passed, 20 minutes passed, the (fire) chief called again,” he said.

The first responders cared for Tarsilla as they waited for the ambulance, but according to her son, didn’t want to risk moving her and exacerbating any injuries.

An ambulance finally arrived about three hours later, said Ersilio, who believes the original paramedic team was diverted to a more dire emergency.

“Seniors paid their dues and nowadays, the seniors are getting a kick in the butt,” he said.

During the excruciating delay, his mother was eventually forced to soil herself on the kitchen floor.

“That’s very dehumanizing,” said Ersilio.