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The latest from Detroit: Paramedic crew taken off the streets after slow response. Reporter Charlie LeDuff says delay happened before ambulance got the call.

WJBK-TV’s Charlie LeDuff is at it again with his brand of advocacy journalism. The reporter is on a mission pushing for drastic improvements in the delivery of EMS in Detroit. Lately, LeDuff is making the case that the administration targets paramedics speaking out to the press about working conditions.

In this latest story, a delayed response to provide aid to a dying man is being investigated. LeDuff reports the paramedics have been assigned to desk duty during the investigation. Here are excerpts from the story and the reporter’s interview with medic Michael O’Neill

LeDuff: How far where you away from that house when you got the call?

O’Neill: My station is Calvert and Linwood, so we’re saying about five miles.

LeDuff: How long did it take you to get there once you got the call?

O’Neill: According to what we’re told downtown seven minutes … once we got the call.

LeDuff: And the lady, it was 20, 25 minutes from the first time she called?

O’Neill: That’s correct.

LeDuff: So, how are you to blame?

O’Neill: Sir, that I cannot tell you.

Paramedics have said they are the scapegoats for exposing department incompetence and management that does not have a clue.

“The deal is the management retaliates against anybody that brings the truth to the public,” said Wisam Zaneih, president of Detroit EMS Association.

So, LeDuff called the fire commissioner’s office yet again, but this time he got a human being. Chief Jerald James of EMS said it is not a punitive action. They just want to get to the bottom of things. Don’t we all?

Below is a LeDuff Detroit EMS story that Fire Critic Rhett Fleitz posted earlier this month.

Comments - Add Yours

  • Have a Ride

    Typical bureaucracy, pass the buck, double talk and BS. Someone needs to step up and fix the problem, not “work on it” or step aside and let someone else who can and will. Glad I live on the other side of the Detroit river, our EMS trucks roll when called they don’t have to wait for a tow truck.

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  • Stuart

    Love that guy! Charlie LaDuff has his own way to tell a story, but I think it makes the average joe pay attention. Plus, he seems to have the rank and file’s back in these pieces. Maybe it will eventually make difference.

  • ukfbbuff

    Charlie La Diff is doing an excellent job of exposing the continued incompetency that is occuring at the City Council and Mayor’s Office.

    What I don’t understand by now is why their has not been a State and or:

    Federal, Racketeering Interstate Corrupt Organization

    or “RICO Act”

    investigation started?

    The City Council and Mayor’s Office continue to loot funding for the Public Safety Services as their personal piggy bank.

    That is probably including Federal Monies of one account or another.

    Until this type of investigation starts and results in prosecutions, this type of Rank and File abuse is going to continue.

    Keep up the good work Mr La Duff!

  • Anonymous

    This could have easily been a story from Washington, DC during the Otis Latin years

  • mark

    ukbuff, the possible reason there has been no investigation by the state AG is because of the rumors floating around that he was involved in a party at the Detroit mayoral mansion that ended up with a dead stripper and lawsuits still ongoing about that mess.

    Why no federal investigation is a great question. Very sad for the residents of Detroit and all the taxpayers in MI who are forced to cover the corruption and incompetence that continues in Detroit.