CLEVELAND - The FOX 8 I TEAM is investigating a call to Cleveland 9-1-1 with a family put on hold for nearly 4 minutes.
It happened last month. The family called for an ambulance because a man started having a seizure. But before the caller even got a chance to say what the problem was, he was put on hold. A dispatch recording shows the caller on hold for 3 minutes 49 seconds.
By that time, the family decided to drive to the hospital themselves with the man having the seizure.
His wife, Megan Conter, said, "That's someone's life. That could have been someone's life. What if it wasn't just a seizure? What if it was a heart attack? What if it was a stroke?"
Turns out, this case was just the latest delay with calls made to Cleveland 9-1-1.
So what was the problem in this case? The I TEAM investigated. The city claims the other dispatchers were tied up on other calls. Even then, it was the wee hours of the morning on a weekday.
We presented what happened to Mayor Frank Jackson. He couldn’t understand a 9-1-1 delay of nearly 4 minutes either. The Mayor told us, "I’m concerned about what you said." He adds the city will use money from a new tax increase to hire more dispatchers and paramedics. He said, "We'll have five more ambulances per day along with the personnel for that, and we're, as you say, investing also in dispatchers."
However, it could be late summer before most of the new dispatchers are trained and handling your calls.
Megan Conter added, "That's a long time. Anything can happen before then.”
The man who had the seizure, we’re told, is now doing OK.