Excerpts from Chicago.cbslocal.com:

Mayor Lori Lightfoot has announced that Chicago will get more ambulances – in response to ongoing CBS 2 investigative reports documenting a serious shortage. But the problems continue. And recently, 911 Center dispatchers were juggling calls from the public and even first responders firefighters needing ambulance assistance, but were told no ambulances were available.

On Jan. 21 during a two-and-a-half-hour period, the city said there were 67 calls for ambulances on the South Side that lead to problems. 

At 2:23 p.m., a caller told the 911 dispatcher: “There’s an accident. Somebody’s hurt real bad.” It was a two-car crash at 71st and State streets. One car was on fire. A firefighter on the scene called for an ambulance. “We’re out of ambulances,” the dispatcher responds. A firefighter made a second call and told the dispatcher: “We’re going to need a second ambulance at this address.” The dispatcher replied: “All right Truck 20, you need two?… We have no one.”

Three minutes later, another 911 call came in from the Ford Assembly Plant at 126th Street and Torrence Avenue. The 911 caller said: “There’s a lady that’s pregnant. She’s having pains. They say she’s having contractions.” A fire engine arrived first and called for an ambulance. The response from a dispatcher was, “We don’t have anybody right now.”

And then at 2:31 p.m., a call came in near 92nd Street and Perry Avenue. The dispatcher said: “Person down for (Engine) 82.” The homeowner ran to his neighbors for help after his wife fell and hit her head. The neighbor called 911 for an ambulance. The fire engine arrived with a paramedic on board.  Engine 82 called the 911 center for a status report: “Eighty-two to Englewood. We’re doing CPR here.” Ambulance 22 arrived 15 minutes after the first call to 911.

Illinois Department of Public Health records show the Chicago Fire Department has committed to a response time goal of six minutes. In all these cases, the ambulance response times were three to five times longer than that six-minute goal.

Just hours after reporters started asking questions about these incidents, dispatchers at the got an email from Fire Commissioner Richard Ford who wrote, “The process of indicating that CFD is out of available ambulances or asking for any available ambulances over the radio will no longer be allowed.”

The question is when will Mayor Lightfoot do something about it?

A spokesman for the Chicago Fire Department denies the fire commissioner is trying to cover up the ambulance shortage problem, saying in a written statement that is not only unwarranted but demonstrably false. He said there were three other ambulances available in other parts of the city in the time period during which the people in this story were waiting for an ambulance. The fire department is now working with the Office of Emergency Management to develop specific language that will avoid future confusion. He also said that to improve ambulance response times, the fire department and University of Chicago Urban Labs are completing a comprehensive analysis of the ambulance fleet to ensure it meets the needs of the city. The study will focus on the impact of five new ambulances added to the fleet by the previous mayor following earlier investigative reports.

thanks Danny