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Yesterday we first played you the radio traffic from Wednesday’s fire on Hague Street in Detroit where firefighters pulled Jeannette Wright from her burning home and then had to wait for dispatchers to find an EMS unit to respond to the call. During that time a battalion chief was ordered not to use a police car for transport. Wright survived and WXYZ-TV went looking for answers on why there was still an ambulance shortage.
The EMS crews would arrive 28 minutes after the original 911 call, and 19 minutes after firefighters.
“We are doing the best we can with limited resources,” said Detroit Fire Commissioner Donald Austin.
He says the overall problem is a lack of funding.
Austin says a city the size of Detroit needs 23 to 25 reliable ambulances, but only has about 17.
It is a situation that would be worse were it not for the help of donations from numerous people and businesses including Dan Gilbert, Roger Penske, Ford, Chrysler, and General Motors. They and others donated money that helped put ten new ambulances on the road. Another 13 are on order and expected to arrive sometime at the end of next month.
Austin warns that Detroit Ambulances cover a lot of miles, and a plan needs to be put into place to make sure money is available for more in the future. He says he hopes as the city’s bankruptcy proceedings continue, more money is made available to the fire department.
Also on STATter911 …
- News reports: Detroit Fire Commissioner Donald Austin to resign. Who will be Charlie’s next victim? – December 3, 2013
- ‘When seconds count, we’re only minutes away’. TV reporter Charlie LeDuff gives a status update on the Detroit Fire Department. – January 22, 2013
- A $780 bill for a DC ambulance that never came. Family of man who died New Year’s Eve outraged. – February 9, 2013
- Detroit Fire Department is hiring. 90 firefighters needed. – October 20, 2013
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