CLEVELAND (WJW) — The FOX 8 I-Team found Cleveland EMS leaders just bragged about a new program to cut down on delays when you call for an ambulance, but we couldn’t find any records for it.
We did some digging, and we uncovered hard questions about the EMS claims.
At a recent Cleveland City Council hearing, EMS said it had started a program with MetroHealth Medical Center. The Hospital’s Multiple Visit Patient program (MVP) gets chronic 911 callers hooked up with doctors, so they won’t keep calling for an ambulance with no emergency. The goal is to cut down on those calls. And, EMS said the new program is working.
EMS Interim Deputy Commissioner Chris Chapin told the Council Public Safety Committee,
“We’ve only implemented this for two weeks, and each week we have seen a decrease.”
He also said: “We provide MetroHealth with the patient information. They reach out and contact the patient.”
But, we asked MetroHealth for the number of Cleveland EMS patients referred to the new MVP program in the last month.
“They only spoke to EMS and brainstormed,” a spokesperson wrote us. “No new work with EMS and our MVP has occurred.”
At the same time, we filed a records request with EMS. We asked for any agreement with the hospital, plus any directives for dispatchers, EMS crews or their bosses for carrying out the new program.
But the response from the law department was, “…there are no records.”
Councilman Michael Polensek led that meeting when EMS announced the new program to cut down on non-emergency calls.
And, he was surprised by what we found looking into those claims.
“Tell us the truth. Give us the straight facts,” he said. “They better get their act together and start giving council accurate information because, if not, we’re gonna start pinning them down at the table, and they’re not gonna like that.”
We reached out to Mayor Justin Bibb’s Office and EMS for this story, and we did not receive any response. Suddenly, no one had anything to say about the big announcement before city council.