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Fire vs. EMS in Cleveland over firefighters struck on I-480. Union says EMS delayed transport as first unit set up command.

Read the EMS view of this story on the JEMS Facebook page (you need to scroll down a few posts) 

IAFF Local 93 president Tom Lally told Cleveland’s Safety Committee that the first EMS transport unit to arrive after three firefighters were struck on I-480 on Sunday would not immediately take the most seriously injured firefighter to the hospital. Instead the ambulance crew set up a command post. Two-years-ago the city decided that EMS should have command at such incidents.

Excerpts from story by Paul Kiska, WEWS-TV:

Lally told the safety committee the change means that the first EMS ambulance on the scene of a multi-injury crash does not have to transport any victims, but instead takes over incident command and triage until a second EMS unit arrives.

Lally called the change a “flawed policy” and said there was a dispute between fire fighters telling EMS to transport the most seriously hurt fire fighter at the scene instead of waiting for the second ambulance.

A firefighter ended up driving another injured firefighter to the hospital.

The city has been talking for years about merging EMS and the fire department, which has created some disagreements over policy. Later on Wednesday, Safety Director Marty Flask asked the fire chief and the EMS director for an investigation into what happened on I-480 and see if a policy change is needed.

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