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Cleveland EMS crews experience ‘brown-outs’ Saturday

Updated: Jun. 1, 2021 at 6:39 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The city of Cleveland’s Emergency Medical Service experienced “brown-outs” on Saturday as the result of staffing issues and employee illness.

Seven units experienced “brown-outs” due to staffing issues, and one because of illness, according to a city of Cleveland media release.

The 18 units within the Division of EMS continued to run and responded to all calls “in an expeditious” manner, according to the release.

The city said that “brown-outs” happen periodically.

EMS uses “dynamic stationing and deployment” to address them, according to the release.

To ensure “the safety of the citizens of Cleveland,” EMS regularly triages emergency calls to respond immediately to the highest priority calls and avoid response delays, the release said.

The city said that the division is “working to fill the staffing shortages” to return to full staffing levels.

Councilman Blaine Griffin, Ward 6 told 19 News that council members are concerned and have been discussing way to fix the problem.

“I look at the data regularly. I talk to the administration, I talk to the workers so I’m not going into this naïve. I really want to understand if there’s anything that we’re missing. And from what I’ve seen, we’re still having between 7 or 8 minute response times,” he said.

Eight paramedics will complete their classroom training next week and will begin their field ride times, according to the city.

They expect to be staffing ambulances before the end of the month.

“The current members of the Division of EMS continue to deliver the highest level of care as they work through this staffing issue,” the release said.

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