CLEVELAND (WJW) – The FOX 8 I-Team has uncovered a long delay getting a Cleveland ambulance to a hit and run on the Shoreway.
Records show the victim was pronounced dead one minute before the EMS unit arrived, so we investigated what took so long to send medical help.
Kendric Shadwick died and his family is now speaking out.
In the early hours of the morning of Sept. 19, calls started pouring in to 911.
“I see a man in the middle of the street,” one caller said.
A dispatcher asked another, “Somebody just ran him over?”
The caller answered “Yeah, somebody just ran him over.”
The dispatcher responded with, “They’re on the way, OK? They’re coming.”
But, the I-Team found that call came in on yet another night with Cleveland EMS short-staffed. Records show it took twice as long to get an ambulance to that scene as it should have.
Dispatch records show the response time for the ambulance was 16 minutes. The city has said its target for top priority calls is eight minutes.
We spoke to Shadwick’s mother, Shawnte Currie.
“I would have expected a quicker response time. If the ambulance would have responded quicker, I feel like he would have had a fighting chance,” she said. “Since they didn’t have a quicker response time, they robbed my son of the opportunity to even try to fight for his life.”
Dispatch records also show firefighters declared her son dead 15 minutes after the call. But, again, an ambulance arrived after 16 minutes.
The city confirms that, the night of that call, Cleveland EMS was short on ambulances. They were down almost a quarter from the number expected on your streets.
EMS first dispatched a unit from a hospital on the west side. This incident happened on the northeast side of town.
We’ve learned the ambulance at the station closest to the scene was one of the units not running that night.
Cleveland Police say they’re investigating.
They say it appeared to be a hit and run, and it may have occurred as the man killed had been walking along the highway.
Meanwhile, the I-team has reported on chronic short-staffing with Cleveland EMS for years.
In the end, the Shadwick’s mother says she’s not surprised by a long delay when her son needed help right away.
“It’s really frustrating,” she said. “They do not take care of their citizens well.”
We put in a request to talk to someone from EMS on camera. We did not get a response to that from the city.