Cleveland ambulance breaks down during cardiac arrest transport

It took 10 minutes for a replacement ambulance to pick up the patient and continue transporting him to the hospital

CLEVELAND — A Cleveland ambulance broke down as paramedics were transporting a cardiac arrest patient to the hospital.  

According to 19 News, paramedics continued treating the patient for 10 minutes before a replacement ambulance arrived to pick up the patient and continue transporting him to the hospital. The man’s family became confused when they realized they beat him to the hospital.  


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?” the man’s daughter told 19 News.  

The man is now in stable condition, though still hospitalized.  

The city maintenance team is unsure what happened during the transport and told reporters they were unable to replicate what happened on scene, which, EMS Commissioner Nicole Carlton said could be indicative of “driver error.” 

The man’s wife told news reporters that her husband survived because of the relentless work of the paramedics on scene while waiting for a second ambulance.  

“If it wasn’t for them, my husband wouldn’t be alive,” she said. “This is on the mayor, and this 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.” 

In addition to the ambulance breakdown, the man’s family said they were on hold to speak to a dispatcher when they called 911.  

According to city records, 58% of Cleveland’s ambulances are in poor condition. The original ambulance transporting the patient, Medic 24, was purchased in 2012 with more than 260,000 miles. Despite purchasing nine new ambulances last year,  the older vehicles are still in use.

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