Excerpts from Chicago.cbslocal.com:

On Tuesday night, a whistleblower exposed that a critical shortage of city ambulances has been made worse with the COVID-19 pandemic. Eighty ambulances serve Chicago every day. The paramedics often go from one violent crime scene to another.

“Our ambulances are out there,” said Chicago Firefighters Union Local 2 spokesman Pat Quane. “They’re running nonstop, 24/7.”

“They’re doing trauma care – that’s battlefield care,” said Chicago Fire Department Paramedic Field Chief Pat Fitzmaurice. He said the department still does not have enough ambulances. 

For years investigations found chronic concerns with ambulance response times, which he said is a result of the ambulance shortage. One analysis of 700,000 medical 911 calls found in 19 percent of them, it took an ambulance more than seven minutes to get to the scene. Illinois Department of Public Health records show the Chicago Fire Department has committed to a response time goal of six minutes.

Five new ambulances arrived in August 2018 – more than a year Mayor Lori Lightfoot said, “We know that we need more ambulances, and it’s my expectation, when we finalize the new fire contract, there will be more on ambulances coming online.”

The mayor made that comment in December of last year. But the number of new ambulances included in the firefighters’ new contract turned out to be zero.

In a statement, the fire department said they continue to ensure the ambulance fleet meets the needs of residents – which is why the placement of the most recently-added five ambulances was carefully chosen.

thanks Asher


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