George Floyd was unresponsive and without a pulse by the time he was on the way to the hospital Monday — but first responders and ER personnel refused to give up on him for almost an hour, according to a report.
“He still had an outside chance,” Hennepin Healthcare EMS Chief Marty Scheerer told the Star Tribune. “Even if it’s a super long shot, you’ve got to try your best.”
Despite their efforts, the 46-year-old was pronounced dead at Hennepin County Medical Center some 90 minutes after his encounter with Minneapolis police officers, according to the news outlet.
“We feel the loss as well,” said Scheerer, who believes first responders did everything right after getting the emergency call that evening.
Floyd died in custody after he was cuffed and pinned to the ground by a Minneapolis cop, according to videos and media reports of the incident.
Viral cell phone footage shows Floyd pleading for air as white cop Derek Chauvin presses his knee into Floyd’s neck.
The death has sparked emotional protests on the streets of Minneapolis and Floyd’s family has called for the four cops involved in his arrest to be charged with murder.
Hennepin EMS arrived at the scene six minutes after getting the call, the Star Tribune reported.
Video shot by a civilian showed a medical worker touching Floyd’s head as Chauvin remained on top of him.
Paramedics and police eventually flipped Floyd over while he was still cuffed, placed him on a gurney and into an ambulance, where a responder released his hands.
Their decision to “load and go,” rather than triage Floyd on the spot, was likely based on their race against time, Scheerer said, adding that responders were likely unaware of how severe the situation had become.
“I don’t think the paramedics knew what was going on. They just saw a split second of what was happening,” he said, referring to Chauvin’s knee restraint on the man’s neck.
“Ultimately, if the police have somebody in custody, we have to get permission from them to work with on the patient,” he added.
Preliminary information given to responding firefighters said that Floyd had “trauma to his mouth,” according to an incident report cited by the outlet.
The firefighters were told by those gathered that cops “had killed the man,” according to the report. “Bystanders were upset but not unruly.”
The crew found an off-duty smoke-eater who reported seeing the end of the struggle and watched as Floyd turned unresponsive while in custody, the paper reported.
Firefighters were notified that medical staff who just left the scene needed help, so they moved a few blocks away to meet up with the ambulance.
Two firefighters then entered the ambulance and helped to prepare IV and medications as a medic was performing chest compressions on Floyd, the report said.
While en route to the hospital, EMS workers called ahead that they were on the way.
“I’ve got a red medical, we’ll be there in approximately six minutes,” a medic said, according to emergency dispatch audio cited by the Star Tribune.
“Thirties, male, was being detained by PD … was on a … was a cardiac arrest upon EMS arrival, apparently doing CPR, getting access, getting vitals, bagging, calling ACLS [advanced cardiovascular life support], we’ll be there in six minutes, red medical, COVID symptoms are unknown.”
Floyd received an electric shock to the chest, but his condition remained the same, the outlet reported.
Doctors continued additional lifesaving measures, but Scheerer declined to elaborate, citing medical privacy rules.
Floyd was declared dead at 9:25 p.m.
A medical examiner report was inconclusive about the exact cause and manner of his death, “pending further testing and investigation,” according to the paper.