YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Youngstown City Administrators and the Firefighters union remain at odds over ambulance response in the city.
Monday, it came to a head when a pregnant mom needed an ambulance on the east side.
The young mother began having contractions five minutes apart at a home on Woodside Avenue. A family member called 911, but babies wait for no one, especially an ambulance. When one eventually showed up, it was 40 minutes after the 911 call came in.
Youngstown Battalion Chief Charlie Smith, who is also the president of Firefighters IAFF Local 312, said when an ambulance finally did show up, it was from Liberty.
AMR and LANE Life Trans were both called but no one could respond.
“Anytime we have a medical emergency in the city, it is a roll of the dice if an ambulance is going to show up,” said Smith said. “In a proper working EMS system, the fire department shows up first followed by an ambulance, and that’s not happening right now.”
Smith said luckily there were firefighters who are trained paramedics and an EMT working Monday afternoon. They were ready to deliver the baby if need be. This time that wasn’t the case.
“It needs resolved. The citizens deserve better. They deserve when they have a medical emergency, that someone shows up,” Smith said.
WKBN First News reached out to Youngstown Mayor Tito Brown who gave us this statement on the matter: “We are working AMR directly to improve their process.”
In the meantime, Smith says the Fire department wants to run its own EMS calls. They just need the proper training, equipment and staffing to do it.
“This should be something we’re working together for. We gave them a plan three years ago, and they’ve yet to act on it.” Smith said.
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