Cleveland EMS dispatcher, sergeant suspended after turning away gunshot victim

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Cleveland EMS personnel have been suspended after refusing to pick up patients.

One police body cam is telling, "Please take me to the hospital!"

On Jan. 14, a man was shot more than a dozen times while sitting in a driveway near East 188th Street and Pawnee Avenue in Cleveland.

The victim was shot in the city of Cleveland, but drove himself one mile away.

He stopped just across the street from the city line, in Euclid.

"They won't come because it's in your city. Even though it's our victim, they won't come," police could be heard saying on the body camera video.

Euclid EMS was busy at a fire, and Cleveland EMS refused to send an ambulance.

"Unless we pick him up and scoop him to Euclid and worry about him there. He needs to go to the hospital. Just take him," an officer said on scene.

Police officers decided the man needed help right away, and they drove him to the hospital in their police car.

According to public documents from a personnel hearing, Emergency Medical Dispatcher MyLinh Lam asked Sergeant Jewel Smith at the time, "We don't go to Euclid, right?"

Sergeant Smith responded, "No."

According to the emergency medical service general order, "At the request of an external municipality or governmental agency for an emergency medical response, the Division of Emergency Medical Service will dispatch an ambulance if an ambulance is available and if the total response time is 15 minutes or less."

We went to EMS headquarters to get answers, but they referred us to the Mayor's office.

Cleveland's Director of Media Relations, Dan Williams, sent an email saying, "As the people involved will have an opportunity to file a grievance we will not be interviewing on this topic at this time."

For now, both the dispatcher and Sergeant have been suspended for one day, or an 8-hour shift.

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