I-Team: Long delay getting ambulance to woman in Warehouse District

CLEVELAND -- The FOX 8 I-Team has uncovered a long delay in sending an ambulance to an unconscious woman in Cleveland’s Warehouse District. Just the latest problem we’ve found with a system you count on to save lives.

Last weekend, police called for an ambulance after finding a 21-year-old woman on the sidewalk “unconscious” and “highly intoxicated.” But the I-Team found, an ambulance didn’t get dispatched, or sent, until 16 minutes had passed.

City Hall confirms that was a high-priority call. It came in at 1:18 a.m. on Saturday. So we investigated what happened to cause a 16-minute wait before sending an ambulance.

The city says it had a regular number of ambulances on the streets, but all units were tied up on other calls.

We’ve shown you Cleveland EMS delays again and again. And recently, we found a woman on hold with 911 for 10 minutes even before she had a chance to describe her medical problem.

The city says it is hiring more dispatchers and paramedics thanks to a tax increase. Spokesman Dan Williams says, the city will add to the number of ambulances on the streets at the end of summer, and then again, by the end of the year.

The EMS union believes it will take even more than that to make a significant difference in response times.

We’ll keep monitoring the hiring and the impact.

**More I-Team stories, here**