NSW Ambulance investigates shock death of Grant Cook
THE circumstances surrounding the death of Murwillumbah Mustangs player Grant Cook will be the subject of an investigation, the NSW Ambulance service confirmed today.
An ambulance was called to the Mustang's homeground at Stan Sercombe Oval at 3:32pm yesterday after the 28-year-old took himself off the field before collapsing just before half time in a Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League semi-final clash against Casino Cougars.
An ambulance spokesperson said, based on the information provided by the caller, the case was triaged as an emergency 1C (lights and siren) response with the nearest paramedic tasked to respond at 3:37pm, arriving 20 minutes later.
The response was upgraded whilst the ambulance was en route, and the category upgraded to a 1A emergency (lights and siren), after the Triple Zero call-taker was "advised in a subsequent call that the patient had gone into cardiac arrest and a doctor had commenced CPR".
The first of three ambulances arrived on scene at 3:57pm with Mr Cook transported to Gold Coast University Hospital, arriving almost 1.5 hours later at 5:28pm in a critical condition.
NSW Ambulance confirmed earlier today the 20-minute wait for an ambulance was longer than the standard response time.
"You would hope that when the patient is serious, it would take 10 to 12 minutes for the first resource to arrive," a NSW Ambulance spokesman said.
A Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter spokesman said aero-medical services were not dispatched to the scene by NSW Ambulance.
According to the NSW Ambulance website, 50% of the highest priority 1A, potentially life-threatening cases, were responded to within 7.65 minutes in NSW in 2013/14.
NSW Ambulance extended its sincere condolences to the family and friends of Mr Cook.
Tweed Byron LAC police are investigating the circumstances which led to Mr Cook's death, with a report to be prepared for the NSW Coroner.