The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Marathon Response Time: Not a Personal Record

By Justin Sondak in News on Oct 24, 2007 10:30PM

Add to the preparations plan for future marathons: Hand out more maps and make sure emergency personnel use them.

uicmed_2007_10.jpgThe AP and Sun-Times are reporting that the ambulance driver carrying Chad Schieber, the runner who suffered cardiac arrest and died that morning, made a bad situation worse. The driver couldn’t find the UIC Medical Center’s emergency room entrance, passed by Stroger Hospital, and took the patient to the nearby West Side VA emergency room where he was pronounced dead, despite paramedics’ best efforts.

Scheiber’s autopsy suggests his heart condition rather than heat stress was at fault, and dehydration tests are still at the lab. Until a more thorough investigation is conducted, we can’t know whether a quicker trip to the hospital would have saved the patient’s life. The lost driver, who stretched a 90-second trip into around 10 minutes, certainly didn’t help things. Dispatchers were reportedly shouting for maps over the radios and the emerging consensus points to disorganization at multiple levels.

Schieber’s family and Chicago Marathon officials aren’t commenting on this news, but Race Director Carey Pinkowski is feeling the heat for this year’s snafus and has released a statement, noting:

As an organization dedicated to providing the very best experience in the industry, the results have left us disappointed as well. Our team has spent the last several days reviewing the details and we are listening to runners, staff and volunteers. Rest assured that we take the day’s events - and your comments - seriously.

We hope that they do, and that everyone is more prepared next time.

Image via UIC