City Accused Of Negligence In Football Accident

CLEVELAND - Parents and coaches are furious enough to tackle someone after seeing how Cleveland EMS responded to a serious youth football injury.

Thomas Anderson, 12, suffered a broken leg in two places, and was flat on his back when EMS arrived to the football field approximately 10-15 minutes after parents and coaches said that they called.

The crew refused to drive the ambulance on to the JFK football field for fear that it might get stuck in the mud. Parents understood their decision, but they were very upset with the crew's reluctance to go on the muddy field themselves.

Parents said that the workers were concerned that they didn't have boots, and that they might get muddy.

Witnesses said that an angry crowd pretty much forced EMS to help the injured boy. EMS finally provided assistance about 30 minutes after the ambulance first arrived, according to four different parents and two coaches.

EMS declined comment and referred The Investigator Tom Meyer to City Hall. Mayor Michael White's press aide promised a response on two separate occasions, but never got back to The Investigator.

19/43 News obtained a letter that the EMS commissioner wrote to the injured boy's mother. Matthew Streger wrote:

"I apologize for any frustration and/or trouble that this matter may have caused you, and I thank you for the opportunity to address this issue. I want to personally assure you that I have made modifications to insure this type of problem will not be repeated."

Horace Jones, a former youth football coach, said that the EMS response time was the worst of its kind that he had seen in 30 years of coaching youth football.