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Emergency medical services workers argue over who should help

If you're injured and in need of medical assistance while in northern Ohio, you'd better hope you aren't too close to the border between Cleveland and one of it's more dilapidated suburbs, East Cleveland.

A car accident claimed the lives of two people right at the borderline between Cleveland and its poorer cousin, East Cleveland.

Emergency Medical Transport (EMT) crews spent a few minutes arguing over who had to send help.

The accident had been fiery and sent cars flying in all directions as one vehicle rammed into another. Some of the vehicles landed on the East Cleveland side of the line and some on Cleveland's side of the line.

Witnesses say that despite the fact that some of the victims suffered burns from a fuel tank that exploded and were in desperate shape, that it still took EMS workers more than 10 minutes to respond to calls for help.

Firefighters eventually beat EMT workers to the scene. Despite that, Cleveland's Emergency Medical Services commissioner claims that there was no delay and no one refused to service the accident victims.

However, audio obtained by a local news channel captures dispatchers for the EMTs in an exchange that supports witnesses who say the EMTs were delayed in arriving and got there long after the 5 minutes they claim. One of the dispatchers is clearly heard relaying that the EMTs refuse to respond because the accident was in East Cleveland.

Issues like this could lead to personal injury cases against not only the driver that caused the accident but the EMT company for failing to respond in a timely manner. Since two people died and three were transported to the hospital, it is possible that someone could have been saved -- or received less severe, disabling injuries -- if the EMTs had responded faster.

Source: news5cleveland.com, "Audio recordings reveal discussion over who should respond to deadly crash on East Cleveland border," Bretton Keenan, Amanda VanAllen, Dec. 01, 2017

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