It took the family of a murder victim calling a press conference on Tuesday for the Winnipeg media to finally report on allegations of a negligent 911 incident response.

At least two mainstream outlets attended the vigil for murder victim Kyriakos Vogiatzakis on Jan. 28th. Our podcast aired unedited audio of his brother Mike alleging an ambulance delay was then compounded by a defilbrillator malfunction. We reported on it- put it right in the headline – but no newsroom in Winnipeg alerted the public of the allegations for over a week.

We’ve reviewed the news conference reports of the Big 4 newsrooms. Some made very interesting and odd choices about which details to report and which to exclude or minimize.

We’ve sorted out the facts and comments they published, and formulated 9 relevant questions arising from the new details and from the City’s evolving excuses, as laid out in the following analysis.

The question of which media outlets will seek answers and which will not, would be the tenth.

(As you’ll read in the Lesson in Journalism at the end of this report, one radio personality did make a comment about ‘why’ MSM ignored the family’s concerns. He thought it was funny- readers may not.)

CBC: Family of Kyriakos Vogiatzakis wants inquiry into death, has issues with emergency medical response

“An outraged Mike Vogiatzakis lashed out at Winnipeg’s 911 service, politicians and the provincial justice system on Tuesday morning as he called for an inquiry into the death of his younger brother.”

… “Shouldn’t 911 check their equipment before they leave the station? Their job was to try and save my brother but they failed him that day,” Vogiatzakis said, asking why the fire paramedic service wouldn’t have been equipped with one.

“… the ambulances came from the Health Sciences Centre — a 10-kilometre drive away.

(A City spokesman) confirmed the times the emergency crews arrived were the same as given by Vogiatzakis. However, the spokesperson said the fire paramedic unit would have been equipped with cardiac monitors capable of defibrillation.

Global News Family of slain Winnipeg restaurateur calls for inquiry into his death

“911 failed our family miserably,” he said at a press conference from the west Winnipeg business… Although the fire truck arrived before the ambulance, he said they weren’t carrying a similar device of their own… Kyriakos, 51, was also taken to Health Sciences Centre’s emergency room despite the Grace Hospital being mere blocks away, his brother said…

This is a system that’s failing us… why would people stop committing crimes if the justice system just lets them out.”

Winnipeg Free Press Slain restaurateur’s brother calls 911 response ‘disgusting’

“… lashing out at city politicians for not reaching out to the mourning family and restaurant staff...”

“… the ambulance didn’t arrive until 25 minutes later, at which point the defibrillator wasn’t working, with its cords tangled up.

“… The first ambulance arrived at 5:55 p.m., said (Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service spokeswoman Erin) Madden while a second ambulance arrived for another medical incident at the same location.

Question 3: Was the defibrillator in the second ambulance deployed to help Kyriakos?

“A police cruiser arrived at 5:46 p.m., followed by a second cruiser at 5:48 p.m., and then a fire paramedic vehicle at 5:49 p.m., the victim’s brother said, but none had defibrillators.The WFPS didn’t confirm whether a defibrillator malfunctioned…. However, she said, the fire engine and the two ambulances all had cardiac monitors capable of defibrillation..

“(WFP edit at 4.33 pm) But Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service spokeswoman Erin Madden said Tuesday that all the service’s equipment was operating correctly. She added that she hopes the family contacts the department directly with their concerns... “We have procedures in place to address concerns, including debriefing and incident reviews by the WFPS medical director”

CTV A lot of anger built up’: Kyriakos Vogiatzakis’ family calling for inquiry into his death

Mike said he’s waiting for someone from the city to reach out to his family, while the WFPS said the victim’s family is encouraged to reach out to them to help address concerns.

Nine questions about 911 and City services attending to the Kyriakos Vogiatzakis case.

We’ll see if any of the professional journalists in this city stumble into the answers.


A Lesson in Journalism:

There were a series of ongoing news updates after the killing for a week, including about the vigil, the funeral, and the re-opening of the Cork and Flame restaurant. Yet no one doing those stories stated that the family said, out loud in front of hundreds of people, that the first ambulance had a malfunction that prevented immediate emergency care for Kyriakos Vogiatzakis.

The Winnipeg media, including reporters who heard it said, kept it a secret from the public.

Until the family forced them not to.

“Congrats on being first!” tweeted CJOB afternoon host Jim Toth on Tuesday, when a listener criticized his station for being a week behind ActionLine’s reporting.

But when asked why every newsroom ignored the story for a week, he didn’t want to answer:

Jim Toth thinks public safety and the role broadcasters play is something to wisecrack about.

But when it comes to complaints about emergency services, we know it can be life and death.

That’s how and The Great Canadian Talk Show podcast has earned your support. Every dollar we receive through this link helps us meet the costs to be your watchdog. Because CJOB won’t do it any more.

As radio and television news abandons your community, we will pick up the slack.