Video: Why Cleveland paramedics feel unsafe in the streets

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CLEVELAND-The FOX 8 I-Team has obtained exclusive video showing the incident that sparked a desperate call for more protection for Cleveland EMS crews.

The union for paramedics recently sent a letter to Cleveland City leaders demanding urgent action for more safety at scenes.

Cleveland Police body camera video shows what happened last month. Officers found a naked man disrupting traffic and yelling nonsense at East 140th and Kinsman. The man refused commands from the police.  Meantime, an EMS crew told officers there that same man had assaulted a paramedic, a paramedic trying to help another person assaulted by the same suspect.

An ambulance crewmember can be heard telling an officer, “He…grabbed my partner. Yeah, he (messed) his eye all up.”

Finally, police had to fire a taser to subdue the suspect.

That incident led the EMS union to fire off a letter to city leaders. The union says, too many times now, EMS crews have been sent to check out 9-1-1 hang-up calls and sent to other calls before the police get there. They say, too often, that puts medical crews in the middle of danger.

The letter recounts, “…members going on calls where weapons were pulled on them, as well as them being unnecessarily put into dangerous situations without police on scene first.”

The union says this is the third time in recent weeks it has requested a meeting with the City Administration to talk about this.

However, the union says it has heard nothing from City Hall. No new policies or procedures have been put into place.

In fact, the I TEAM reached out to the Mayor’s office about this four times, and the I TEAM has received no comment.

We’ve learned more EMS crews are now calling back to dispatch asking for more information about what they’re getting into and information about whether or not police are there or on the way.

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