Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "emergency services" ...

  • Deadly Delay: Tampa's Broken Ambulance System

    An ambulance responding to a heart attack call broke down, costing the patient valuable time that could have saved his life. The ABC Action News I-Team found out that ambulance was old, was unreliable and, unfortunately, was typical of Tampa's advanced life support ambulance fleet. We discovered the city spent millions of new parks from the same fund which could have replaced aging ambulances, which put lives at risk.
  • Our Tax Dollars at Work

    A look at how the tax money in Kansas City is spent on street maintenance, police, fire/ambulance, water, sewer, parks and recreation, municipal courts, and solid waste removal.
  • Failed 9-1-1

    A 19 year old Hillsborough County youth died from an asthma attack because an enhanced 9-1-1 system, required by law and paid for by customers, was not in place. The authors also found that the fire rescue back-up systems were not in place.
  • Is San Francisco Ready?

    Prompted by disasters around the world the authors of this investigation decided to analyze San Francisco's emergency services and see if the city is ready to face a crisis, in particular an earthquake of significant magnitude. They found several failings in the city's preparation plan as well as some irregularities in the hiring of executives, and purchasing of early warning systems.
  • Paying for firefighters' overtime taxes Martin County

    Overtime pay enabled a Fire-rescue battalion chief to become the third highest paid employee in Martin County and overtime pay for the 230-member department tripled in the past six years, despite efforts by the brass to control overtime pay.
  • 911 Tape Details Fatal Night

    "When a heart attack dropped Jim Wagner on the floor of a Memphis pool hall, it took an ambulance half an hour to arrive." The Commercial Appeal investigated why it took so long for an ambulance to arrive despite more than a half-dozen people calling 911 to report the heart attack. They discovered 911 dispatchers had first sent ambulances to three wrong addresses, and that the EMS personnel involved "displayed a remarkable lack of familiarity of the section of town where Wagner died, a neighborhood recently annexed into the city." The paper used the state's open-records law to obtain the 911 tapes pertaining to the incident, and found "dispatchers were rudely dismissive of callers offering valuable information" and that "authorities in an adjacent jurisdiction refused to send an ambulance, even though the pool hall lay one block outside its jurisdiction." The 911 mapping system also appeared to have failed.
  • Six Minutes To Live or Die

    This USA Today investigation finds that emergency medical systems in most of the nation's 50 largest cities are fragmented, inconsistent, and slow. The found three major reasons that emergency services in most U.S. cities are saving so few people in life-or-death situations. Many cities' emergency services are undermined by their culture...disagreements and turf wars between fire departments and ambulance services cause deadly delays. Most cities don't measure their performance effectively..if at all. So they can't determine how many lives they're losing, and therefore can't find ways to increase survival rates. Finally, many cities lack the strong leadership needed to improve emergency medical services.
  • (Untitled)

    Oregon's overwhelmed system to protect children ignored more than half the warnings to child abuse hotlines, contributing to a record number of deaths from abuse and neglect, The Oregonian found after a four-month investigation. The key culprit, the series found, is in a system the state uses, called the levels of vulnerability, to justify not investigating more than half the calls it receives. (Dec. 1-2, 5, 1996)
  • (Untitled)

    A New York Times survey covering more than 450 public telephones in 15 city neighborhoods from Jan. 23 to Feb. 2, found that nearly one-third were broken. This article investigates the pros and cons of shutting down New York City's fire alarm boxes and leaving the public to rely on the public telephone system for reporting fires. (February 11, 1996)
  • (Untitled)

    The Lexington Herald-Leader reveals that special districts that charge fees or tax to provide water sewer or emergency services are largely unmonitored and unaccountable; finds that they are full of conflicts of interest, nepotism and questionable spending, Dec. 11 - 18, 1994.