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  • Firestorm (2010)
  • 54 min | Documentary
Firestorm (2010)
54 min | Documentary

Every minute in the United States, an ambulance gets turned away from an emergency room because hospitals are simply too full. In Los Angeles, where the wait time in some ERs is as long as 48 hours, the entire 911 system is being dragged ...See moreEvery minute in the United States, an ambulance gets turned away from an emergency room because hospitals are simply too full. In Los Angeles, where the wait time in some ERs is as long as 48 hours, the entire 911 system is being dragged down in ways that are alarming. FIRESTORM follows the Los Angeles Fire Department Station 65, located in South L.A., a neighborhood with a largely uninsured and undereducated population. The LAFD handles all emergency medical services for the city of Los Angeles, and currently 82% of the department's work is medical-rather than fire-related. Ten hospitals have closed in just five years in L.A., and the challenge of delivering more than 500 patients per day to a shrinking number of hospitals is overwhelming the LAFD. With resources strained, and 911 being used for everything from heart attacks to stomach aches, LAFD paramedics have become virtual 'doctors in a box' according to Fire Chief Daniel McCarthy. Shot cinema vérité, with candid interviews and punctuated with stunning still images by Ed Kashi, FIRESTORM depicts the insanity behind a rapidly unraveling health care safety net. Award-winning filmmaker Julie Winokur and world-renowned photojournalist Ed Kashi show how 911 has become the speed dial for those who either don't have access to health care or don't manage their care properly. Instead of putting out fires and responding to life-and-death emergencies, EMS personnel are essentially filling a void in medical care and stretching themselves to the brink. So who will rescue the rescuers? Written by Julie Winokur See less
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Edit Released
Updated Dec 31, 2010

Release date
2010 (United States)

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7.3 / 10 | 8 votes