03/13/2012 05:40 EDT | Updated 05/13/2012 05:12 EDT

Inquest into death of man as he waited for assistance makes 29 recommendations

TORONTO - The death of a man as he waited for medical assistance has prompted a coroner's jury to make 29 recommendations aimed at preventing a similar tragedy.

James Hearst died of a heart attack in the hallway of his Toronto apartment in 2009 while waiting for the city's Emergency Medical Service to respond.

Calls for a standard operating procedure when paramedics respond and requiring dispatchers to ask 9-1-1 callers exactly what happened were among the recommendations.

The jury also suggested creating a distinction between “unknown trouble calls” and an “unknown medical problem.”

The incident happened during the city's labour strike, but no direct links have been made to that.

There were no recommendations made about availability of EMS workers during a strike, given the union and the city have agreed to make 95 per cent of workers available during a labour disruption.

The jury heard six weeks of testimony during the inquest. (CFRB)