CLEVELAND (WJW) – The FOX 8 I-Team has uncovered yet another delay getting an ambulance in Cleveland.
The I-Team found precious minutes lost after an attack on a woman when police dispatch could not get through to EMS dispatch.
For years, the I-Team has exposed city ambulance delays as a chronic problem. Now, what happened in this case has sparked an internal investigation.
Last Sunday, on the near west side, witnesses called 911 for a woman getting jumped and beaten in the street.
The callers said, “They jumped her in the road,” “Yeah, her whole face is swollen” and “They threatened to stab her.”
However, no Cleveland ambulance immediately headed that way even though a police dispatcher planned on sending help.
The dispatcher told the witnesses, “The police are on their way. I’m going to call EMS. Get them out, on their way.”
Records show a police call taker could not get through to Cleveland EMS for more than seven minutes.
The I-Team told the victim how we had uncovered a delay in getting her medical help.
“That should be a priority,” she said. “The ambulance took a little longer, but the police were here pretty quick.”
The I-Team asked the city to explain what went wrong. Why the delay?
Cleveland Police Sgt. Jennifer Ciaccia issued a statement saying, in part, “There was a delay in the initial police dispatch to EMS dispatch contact which is under review.”
For years, the I-Team has exposed all kinds of Cleveland EMS delays again and again.
Last year, just before taking office, new Mayor Justin Bibb promised improvement. At that time, he said, “Listen, we have to take a comprehensive look at the system.”
Yet, we’ve seen no major changes with EMS under Mayor Bibb.
The I-Team has requested an interview with him on this subject more than a dozen times. He still has not agreed to it.
The statement from Sgt. Ciaccia also says, once police got through to EMS about the beating, an ambulance got to the scene in five minutes. Again, that was after a delay.
Multiple sources confirm that EMS dispatch was short on staffing that day. The victim in this case doesn’t think it should be complicated.
“The police should be able to get ahold of 911, to the ambulance, faster to get help,” she said.
There’s no telling how long the review might take to figure out the reason for the trouble getting through to EMS.
The attack on the woman is under investigation by police. Her injurie included a broken bone in her face.