In a disturbing video, a UPS driver in Brooklyn, New York, is shown parked in a snowy street in order to make a delivery, then displaying colossal insensitivity when paramedics in an ambulance behind him scream their siren to alert him they need to get through by refusing to move his truck for over 30 seconds.
The video shows the UPS driver finally pulling ahead a little, while the siren is still blaring, but slowing again as if to stop, forcing the ambulance to honk its horn in addition to the siren. The driver finally drives down the street so the ambulance can get through.
A passerby accosts the driver when he gets out of his truck, arms filled with packages, to make a delivery. The passerby, videotaping the exchange, asks, “My question is —”
The driver answers, “Right. Go ahead.”
The passerby continues, “If this would have been your family, would you have stayed, too?”
The driver answers, “Do me a favor. Could you move out of my way? Let me pass, please.”
Driver: “Thank you very much. Thank you very much.”
Passerby: “I’ll send this to UPS.”
The driver truculently responds: “And keep in mind, keep in mind, if you post that or you sent that you will get a lawsuit.” He walks away.
The passerby calls after him, “You will get a lawsuit. UPS will get a lawsuit.”
The driver, turning back from a distance: “Let me tell you one more time: If you post anything —”
Passerby: “I don’t care what you say. What you did was wrong. Very wrong. You’re putting your place before someone’s life.”
The driver warns, “You are illegally recording.”
A spokesman for UPS told The Daily Mail, “UPS trains its drivers to follow all traffic laws, which includes allowing emergency vehicles to pass. We are aware of the situation and taking appropriate action.”
Those thirty seconds the UPS driver forced the ambulance to wait could have been important: The New York Post reported in January 2019, “As some 900 FDNY paramedics and EMTs have left to become firefighters in the last year, the city’s ability to respond to medical emergencies has reached a crisis point, union leaders warn. Over the last 12 months, official data show, the average time to reach people in cardiac arrest or choking rose by 24 seconds — an increase that can mean life or death.”
The New York Daily News noted in 2016 that on the average in 2015, ambulances took nine minutes and 22 seconds to reach life threatening medical emergencies. Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, chair of the fire and criminal justice committee, commented, “Each and every year it is taking longer in life-threatening emergency situations for help to arrive … They are worse than they’ve ever been. You don’t have 10 minutes when you’re in cardiac arrest.”
In March 2018 it was reported that in 2017, the Fire Department of New York EMS answered 1.75 million calls, and that according to the latest FDNY response time data available regarding the January response to a Level 1 cardiac arrest or choking call, Manhattan clocked in at 5: 20, Staten Island at with 5:53, Queens at 6:02, the Bronx at 6:16 and Brooklyn bringing up the rear at 6:23.