The head of Toronto EMS says the June 25 death of a man by heart attack cannot be linked to the ongoing municipal strike, but his agency is reviewing the incident.

"... In this particular case, the information received from the caller indicated this was not a life-threatening call," Chief Bruce Farr told reporters on Tuesday.

The first call suggested the man -- 59-year-old James Robert Hearst, a small-business owner -- was bleeding from the head "with no mention of any heart problem," he said.

Paramedics arrived at the 40 Alexander St. apartment building within nine minutes. Farr said this was within "medically acceptable time frames."

However, the paramedics initially waited for police to arrive before going in to the building to commence treatment.

"Once the crew received another update, with new information indicating that the patient wasn't breathing, they put aside their own health and safety concerns and acted immediately on that information and went into the scene," Farr said.

Witnesses at the scene claim it took more than 30 minutes for paramedics to act.

"As I know more of the story, he suffered for a long time," said Alejandro Martinez, Hearst's partner. "There was time for emergency services to help him, but nobody from them went to his rescue."

One man who gave CPR to Hearst told CTV Toronto there was no fighting going on or any other type of activity that could have led paramedics to think they would be in danger.

They said firefighters were first on the scene, followed by EMS paramedics and police. Farr said paramedics were first on the scene.

In any event, the emergency responders couldn't revive Hearst, who died.

Farr wouldn't elaborate on what health and safety issues kept the paramedics from providing treatment. "It's all part of our investigation ... with the crew and what they heard from the dispatcher at the time the call was given to them," he said.

Farr couldn't say how long the paramedics sat outside the building, again saying it was part of the investigation. He couldn't say what time they specifically entered the building. He didn't know how many updates the crew received or how many 911 calls came in about Hearst.

Brian Patterson of the Ontario Safety League told CTV Toronto that he thinks this case should be examined by a coroner's inquest.

"I think the coroner is the best independent voice in the event of a fatality. And of course, he's able to handle all the confidential information that may or may not arise," he said.

Premier Dalton McGuinty told reporters in Port Hope that it's incumbent on Toronto EMS to show Torontonians that no one's safety would be compromised in an emergency by the current strike.

Paramedics are technically on strike with an estimated 24,000 other city workers, but staffing has to be maintained at a 75-per-cent level. They are represented by CUPE Local 416, the outside workers. The dispatchers are represented by Local 79, the inside workers.

The city has promised to maintain pre-strike emergency response times, but has said lower-priority calls might be delayed.

"I want to reassure residents that this was not related to our current labour disruption," Farr said.

In another development, Farr said EMS and its paramedics agreed at an Ontario Labour Relations Board hearing on Tuesday that paramedics would be wearing their full standard-issue uniform.

Some paramedics had started wearing t-shirts showing support for their striking fellow union members.

With a report from CTV Toronto's Austin Delaney