East Cleveland Fire Department using pickup truck instead of ambulance for EMS

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EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) – Some East Cleveland officials expressing concern that fire officials have had to use a pickup truck as an EMS vehicle for a few days due to the department’s ambulances needing repairs.

“So now we are using a pickup truck as the ambulance,”  Councilwoman Juanita Gowdy asked during Thursday’s East Cleveland Council’s General Services and Administration Committee meeting. “I am really sad we are using a pickup truck for EMS.”


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Fire Chief David Worley said they are using the brand new truck temporarily until the ambulance is repaired.

“What we are doing is sending out medics to the residents who are in need to evaluate the scene,” Worley explained during the meeting. “And what’s going on, is if it’s not a life or death situation, where the patient can be walked out to the ambulance and driven , as if being driven by their own family, that is what we will do in the truck.”

The chief added if the situation is life threatening they will call nearby cities, such as Euclid, and ask that they send an ambulance.

“Our new squad ended up out of service just the other day and the back up squad we normally use had to be sent out to be serviced,” the chief said. “So we are all praying it will be back by the weekend or Monday.”

The chief also told council the situation is “not fun,” and the firefighters are doing their best.


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“My heart goes out to the patient and their families,” the chief said. “Our residents lives are dear to us and we don’t take it lightly. We have one of the highest saves in the county when it comes to full arrests saves. We have fast response times, much faster than Cleveland.”

Worley told the I-Team that the ambulance may be back in service as soon as Friday or in the next few days.

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