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The morning check of firefighting equipment at East Cleveland’s fire headquarters is a daily routine designed to make sure everything is ready to fight a fire. But some things are not ready today: the city’s rescue squads. A one year old unit is in for a warranty issue, and the only other squad, a unit donated to the city by Mayfield Heights, is down.

The East Cleveland Firefighters IAFF Local 500 wrote about the ambulance situation on Facebook, urging residents not to call 911 unless there is a true medical emergency that requires an ambulance transport.

“We are currently relying on mutual aid ambulances from the surrounding communities, and they must be utilized for serious medical calls only,” they wrote.

Chief Rick Wilcox hopes to have the unit back by the end of the day, but in the meantime, delays are inevitable. Wilcox says that residents should continue to call 911.

“The dispatcher will route your call and we’ll call the necessary city to respond to our calls,” he said. “There will be some delay but not much.” 

According to their Facebook, the fire department will respond to EMS calls in their fire engine, staffed with paramedics and all other things usually found in an ambulance, with the exception of a stretcher. The fire engines will not be able to transport people to the hospital.

It is not the first time that East Cleveland has needed outside help. At a fire a year ago the city’s only working truck was dispatched, while the city of Cleveland sent a dozen units.

“We’ve been truly thankful, appreciative of their help,” said Wilcox. “They continue to reach out because of the fraternity we have as firefighters.”



Article Courtesy of WOIO Cleveland 19 News

Picture Courtesy of Getty Images

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