A Two For One


It’s not often that I get to write a combined post about both firearms and EMS. This one is actually a little bit about crime, a little bit about firearms, and a lot about EMS. Or, to be more accurate, the lack of EMS.

Man shot 16 times with automatic rifle during ambush in Cleveland, EMS refuses to respond, officials say

That’s a pretty convoluted headline. At first glance, I thought maybe it was a case where the paramedics refused to go to the scene because of danger. That wasn’t the case at all, but the real story is actually even worse.

First the hysteria in the lede,

CLEVELAND, Ohio — A gunman with an automatic rifle ambushed a 22-year-old man Sunday and shot him 16 times outside his Collinwood home, and Cleveland EMS refused to pick him up because he drove across the street into Euclid, according to police.

Actually a gunman (how do we know it wasn’t a gunlady?) with a SEMI automatic rifle shot the poor Yute 16 times. A fully automatic rifle technically be a machine gun, although the term “assault rifle” is even more scary and sexy.

Also, this run on sentence makes it seem that EMS responded, hit the Euclid city limit, and said “No, we can’t cross into Euclid.” Such was not the case, as the screw up, if indeed it was such, happened in dispatch. Or as I used to call it, “The Puzzle Palace”.

The victim suffered gunshot wounds in his the right side of his chest, his shoulder blade, his right knee, his right shoulder, his right hand, his left
knee and his left foot.

He drove his SUV east and crossed into Euclid, according to police reports. A Euclid police officer found him with gunshot wounds.

So, the victim drove east into the City of Euclid where a police officer found him. You’d think that the police officer from the City of Euclid would call his dispatcher ans day, “Hey, I got a guy here with a bunch of bullet holes in him, please send an ambulance.” Or something like that. You’d think that, but you’d be wrong.

Cleveland EMS refused to pick the man up because he left the Cleveland city limits, according to police reports. Euclid’s ambulance was in South Euclid
on a call. The Euclid police officer loaded the man into the back of a Cleveland officer’s cruiser.

Now, the story is a bit less clear. Euclid’s ambulance was on a call, so they weren’t available. Did the dispatcher in Euclid call Cleveland and say, “Hey, this guy was shot in your city, please come and get him?” Did the dispatcher in Cleveland say, “Nope, not going to drive over the line into Euclid.”, and maybe suggest that the victim get back in his SUV and drive back?

I doubt that. I rather think that this story, gives us a better idea of what might have happened.

Cleveland police advised Euclid officers the man was a victim from a shooting they were investigating. Despite being in need of first aid, Cleveland EMS would not transport him to the hospital, according to the police report.

So, Cleveland police ended up in Euclid and interacted with Euclid offices. My guess, and keep in mind I’m basing this on news from the Fake Stream Media, is that the Cleveland officers wanted the patient transported to a hospital in Cleveland (which might have been a good idea), and called their dispatcher who talked to EMS dispatch and said something like, “Hey, we got a guy that got shot in Cleveland and drove himself into Euclid, can you send an ambulance to pick him up?”

At which point the dispatcher would be inclined to say, “Uh, doesn’t Euclid have any ambulances available?”

I can see how this sort of thing would happen, although obviously the reporter doesn’t know much about EMS, so he just put together some factoids and wrote a story.

If I were charged with investigating this case, here is what I would want to do.

Interview the police officer(s) on scene.

Talk to the police dispatcher who handled the call.

Talk to the EMS dispatcher who took the call.

Listen to the police radio traffic from Euclid, the police radio traffic from Cleveland, and if there was any, the recording of the phone call from the Cleveland PD to Cleveland EMS dispatch. It’s also possible that the request for an ambulance came via the Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system if they share the same system. There’s a good chance that listening to all of the voice traffic and a review of CAD records will give the investigator a good of idea of what transpired.

My guess, and it’s really only that, is that there was miscommunication, not any negligence. The Cleveland police officer might have thought it made sense to bring the victim back to Cleveland and called for an ambulance. The police dispatcher thought that it made sense to send a Cleveland EMS unit into Euclid. The EMS dispatcher thought that Euclid would handle the call. And so on.

I would think that the Euclid officer initially called his dispatcher and asked for an ambulance, but maybe not. Maybe the Cleveland officer told the Euclid officer that he’d get the ambulance.

These are a few of the possibilities of what might have happened in this case.

It also won’t surprise me if someone, most likely someone from Cleveland EMS becomes the scapegoat for all of this. After all, when public agency management fails to have clear cut policies someone has to be blamed. Unsurprisingly, that someone is often a lower level employee.

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After a long career as a field EMS provider, I'm now doing all that back office stuff I used to laugh at. Life is full of ironies, isn't it? I still live in the Northeast corner of the United States, although I hope to change that to another part of the country more in tune with my values and beliefs. I still write about EMS, but I'm adding more and more non EMS subject matter. Thanks for visiting.