Cleveland EMS 9-1-1 calls on the rise along with response times

19 Action News discovering a record demand for Cleveland ambulances, just as Huron Hospital closes its doors for good.

The high demand for emergency transportation is straining the 9-1-1 system, and driving up response times.

According to records, 9,000 ambulance calls were made in the month of July. The city was so shocked by the numbers, they ran them again just to be sure. The next closest month to those high numbers happened back in 1983.

9-1-1 calls concerning women in labor, foot concerns and more coming in like never before. Calls for critical patients were also up nearly by half.

So what's the deal?

Cleveland's Head of EMS tells 19 Actions they are considering July's scorching temps, and that more and more people are calling an ambulance to go to an emergency room since they don't have insurance or a regular doctor. It's also believed that more patients are waiting longer before they call for help.

Cleveland EMS worker Ed Eckart says "if they call right away, they're not gonna be as serious if they wait… they could be in a very serious situation." All of this means you could be waiting longer when you call for an ambulance.

To make matters worse, Huron Hospital is closing patients that would normally go there are being packed in elsewhere. Plus, response time on the east side has gone from 7 minutes to nearly 18.

With EMS staff already stretched, what can the City of Cleveland do now to keep up with the heavy calls?

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