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Investigation explains 34-minute wait for an ambulance

Two paramedics received minor punishment for their roles in the delay

By EMS1 Staff

CLEVELAND — An investigation revealed why it took 34 minutes for an ambulance to reach an unconscious woman in her home.

FOX8.com reported that the call, which came in last month, left police officers, neighbors and even a doctor at the house wondering why it was taking an ambulance so long to respond. In a video, the doctor can be heard talking to the woman after she regained consciousness.

An officer can be heard saying to a dispatcher, "This has been over 30 minutes and the doctor that's working with her in the bathroom says she probably just had a stroke," according to the report.

An internal review found the first ambulance crew sent to the call stopped a block away. People involved in a domestic violence matter allegedly flagged down the paramedics. However, the paramedics did not call in to tell dispatch that they had stopped.

Two paramedics received written warnings after they failed to call in where they had stopped.

Cleveland EMS said its policy for paramedics to stop and ask questions when flagged down. Officials said they could have faced criminal charges of abandonment if they kept going.

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