City of Cleveland ambulance breaks down on the way to the hospital with heart-attack patient inside

Ambulance Breaks Down on Way to Hospital

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - An ambulance carrying a loved one in cardiac arrest broke down this week before reaching hospital.

Now, the man’s family is furious about the condition of the city’s equipment.

Thankfully, the father and a husband pulled through.

He’s still in the hospital however, as the city tries to figure out what went wrong getting him there, and if it could happen again.

Doctors said Bob had a heart attack Sunday. We’re only calling him by his first name to protect his and his family’s identity.

His family was surprised when they beat him to the hospital that afternoon.

19 News is looking into a Cleveland ambulance that broke down while transporting a man in cardiac arrest to the hospital.

Posted by Cleveland 19 News on Thursday, June 27, 2019

“We’re waiting, we’re waiting, we’re still waiting, and it’s like what’s going on? Where are they at?” his daughter said.

A neighbor texted his family a picture of the ambulance he’d just been loaded into.

It wouldn’t start.

Paramedics had to wait 10 minutes for a replacement ambulance, while keeping Bob alive in the back of the original ambulance.

“If it wasn’t for them, my husband wouldn’t be alive,” his wife said.

The city says it’s maintenance department still doesn’t know what happened to the ambulance.

EMS Commissioner Nicole Carlton said this may have been a result of driver error.

“They could not replicate what happened on the scene,” she said.

City records we obtained say 58 percent of Cleveland’s ambulances are in poor condition right now.

The family says Bob was in Medic 24.

It’s listed in that poor category-- purchased in 2012, with more than 260 thousand miles on it.

“This is on the mayor, and this is on the safety director. These are the people that are supposed to be taking care of our first responders, making sure they have the tools to do what they need to do,” Bob’s wife said.

The city said they are capable of taking care of the first responders. They got 9 new ambulances last year.

Thursday, 19 News asked Carlton if there’s anything else the city needs to ensure it can take care of the public.

She said, “We take care of the public very well. We have exceptional training.”

With ambulances like Medic 24 still in the mix though, Bob’s family is weary.

“I think it’s like can we trust them to come out and take care of our family, or should we just rush them to a hospital ourselves,” Bob’s daughter said.

Besides the ambulance break down—the family also says it had to wait when they were trying to get a hold of dispatchers.

They said the 911 system was maxed out and they were on hold for several minutes

We’re following up on that, Friday.

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