19 Action News has learned the first steps have been taken to merge the Cleveland Fire Department and ambulance service.

The goal is to increase response time. Multiple sources tell 19 Action News the EMS Union voted overwhelmingly to allow firefighters, who are paramedics, to serve on ambulances. This hadn’t been done before.

The city wants to complete a merge by the end of the year.

This comes as the city has also taken steps to revamp the fire department in the wake of the pay scandal.

Article Courtesy of WOIO 19 Action News