Solving Cleveland’s EMS problems: Next mayor says ‘everything is on the table’


CLEVELAND (WJW) – The next mayor of Cleveland did not rule out a change at the top of EMS as he spoke out about problems exposed by the FOX 8 I-Team, including delays when you call for an ambulance.

Wednesday, Justin Bibb announced his top ten priorities when he takes office in January. Number one on that list is public safety.

So, we asked about fixing the problems with EMS.

Just days ago, we revealed Cleveland EMS is short on ambulances virtually every day. Yet, an ambulance gets sent to virtually every call, even the lowest priorities.

We’ve been reporting on ambulance delays and short staffing for years, so we asked the mayor-elect if he plans to keep the same person in charge of Cleveland EMS or make changes in administration.

“Everything’s on the table as we look at what’s working, what’s not working as we prepare for office in January,” Bibb said. “Listen, we have to take a comprehensive look at the entire system.”

The I-Team has recently exposed patients waiting for an ambulance 14, 16 and even 17 minutes.

Some patients have died waiting for EMS or after they finally got to the hospital. That has left families wondering if response time may have been the difference between life and death.

Bibb tells us he plans to listen to management and paramedics on the street.

“I need to listen, take stock and get their feedback on what they need to do their jobs,” Bibb said.

There’s no specifics yet from the new mayor, but he made a commitment to some kind of action without delay. The fix could get complicated involving hiring more people, raising pay or perhaps changing management.

The I-Team will track what steps get taken and what difference they could make for you.

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