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This is a follow up story to one I posted a few days ago about Cleveland EMS Ambulances leaving the city crippled. A city official stated in an interview that it was perfectly okay to transport low level patients not requiring critical care to the hospital via a Paramedic Staffed SUV. The investigator at Channel 3 news station WKYC in Cleveland, Tom Meyer, did some fact checking, and found that it was not appropriate or “legal” to transport patients in anything other than an ambulance, which Cleveland now has trouble keeping active on the streets due to breakdowns and one’s needing major repair.
Check out the video from WKYC’s Tom Meyer below:
According to the Ohio administrative code, an ambulance is defined as “a vehicle that is designed to transport individuals in a supine position,” meaning that a patient would have to be able to lie down.
In the above video you will be able to see that the SUV’s carry so much gear, that laying down a patient would not be an option. I used to work for Cleveland EMS, from 1997-2002, and I still miss it every day. It worries me that not only are the vehicles that the EMT’s and Paramedics have to work in so dilapidated and beyond repair unsafe, that it might cause a problem to the citizens of the City of Cleveland if a delay was to occur because so many are broken down.
The Cleveland Association of Rescue Employees (C.A.R.E/ILA Local 1975) issued the following the statement:
“We at no time have or been allowed to transport patients in SUVs. It’s unsafe for the patient and unlawful, not like it was portrayed by Assistant Director Ed Eckart. We feel the current state of our fleet of ambulances is in need of the upmost(sic) attention and constant proper repair. This issue has been and will continue to be detrimental to the safety and lives of the citizens, employees and visitors to the the city of Cleveland, if left unaddressed.”
So what do you think about the story? Do you worry about not getting an ambulance if you need one? If you work for a department in another city, what contingency plans does your department take? Share your thoughts below, and check out the source of the original article above. ~Tom