Cleveland EMS punished after ambulance crew makes no contact with dispatch for hours


CLEVELAND (WJW) – The FOX 8 I-Team has uncovered what happened to a Cleveland ambulance crew that had no contact with dispatch for hours.

We’ve also found that two supervisors and two paramedics are being punished.

The mystery of Medic 21 began on a day with huge crowds downtown for the NFL Draft. An internal investigation looked into why that unit was listed in dispatch on the same call for four hours not handling other emergencies.

Now, that investigation has resulted in an EMS sergeant suspended for 3 days, 2 paramedics for one day each and a captain given a written reprimand.

First, dispatch recordings show Medic 21 sent to a call on the west side, but that patient didn’t want to go to the hospital.

Still, that EMS crew was listed as being on that call for hours.

Records show the crew simply went back to base right after that call, but the crew did not radio in nor put in any update in the dispatch computer system.

Records also show the sergeant over dispatch didn’t even check on that crew for four hours.

Dispatch did do one check on the crew just after that call to the west side, but disciplinary letters show the crew did not answer that.

All of this comes as we’ve shown you Cleveland EMS running short on ambulances daily due to short staffing.

The I-Team spoke to Cleveland Councilman Mike Polensek back when we first revealed the investigation and he’s reacting now.

“You just shake your head and you ask yourself, ‘Why does this stuff continue to go on?’” Polensek said. “But, what it keeps coming back to is supervision. Why do we continue to see a lack of supervision? Why do we continue to see these ongoing issues?”

We also reached out to the EMS union for comment, but we received no response.

The disciplinary letters call what happened “unacceptable,” saying it “compromised… operations.”

However, it’s no longer a mystery.

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