An Edmonton Police Services logo is shown at a press conference in Edmonton on October 2, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Communication breakdown caused ‘unacceptable’ delay: Edmonton police

Two Good Samaritans will also be thanked for their patience and for assisting the woman

A woman who waited more than an hour for emergency responders after she was assaulted and found outside covered in blood will be getting an apology, Edmonton police said.

Supt. Darrin Balanik said in a statement Friday that there was a breakdown in communication with police and ambulance staff, resulting in an “unacceptable delay.”

The statement comes after a man found the victim early Wednesday morning on a walkway calling out for help.

John Saunders, who has a background as a firefighter, said he was on his way to a gym when he found her on the ground with blood on her legs, chest and face.

He checked the woman over and called 911, but Saunders said he was told that because it was a possible assault, paramedics would have to wait for a police escort.

“I said, ‘What about my safety?’ And she said, “Well, you don’t have to be there; there’s no obligation for you to be there.’”

He said he called 911 twice more and, 90 minutes later, another bystander went to a nearby fire station and got firefighters to help the woman.

Balanik said police will review the response time to see where improvements can be made.

“We have also reached out to Alberta Health Services to see how we can improve operational communications between our two agencies,” he said.

“Paramedics were correctly dispatched to the scene, but were standing by, waiting for police to ensure the location was safe for them to proceed.”

Balanik said he has also reached out to the two Good Samaritans to thank them for their patience and for assisting the woman.

“We have learned from this, and we will improve,” he said.

The Canadian Press

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