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911 call details how ambulance dispatched to wrong address while newborn struggled to breathe

While preparing funeral, family calls for accountability
Posted at 5:51 PM, Feb 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-25 20:24:59-05

CLEVELAND — A family is demanding accountability after a 911 call details how a Cleveland ambulance responded to the wrong address while a family waited with a newborn struggling to breathe.

For Ernestine Bell, what happened to her grandson was an avoidable mistake.

“I still cannot understand why it took so long to get here," she said.

On February 7, her family called 911 after her grandson, Jha-Syah Anthony Rogers, struggled to breathe at a home on Kempton Avenue in Cleveland.

“My grandson is only three weeks old,” she said. “Only held him three times because I was scared of the coronavirus.”

A dispatcher can be heard for several minutes talking to the caller and trying to help over the phone while the family waited for paramedics to arrive.

Records show four minutes into that 911 call, an ambulance arrived along Kinsman Road, instead of Kempton Avenue, which is about five miles away.

“Everybody is pulling up,” a dispatcher said. “Does anybody see the paramedics?”

“No, I don’t hear anything,” the caller responded.

The dispatcher replied by saying the address on file was on Kinsman Road.

“Kempton,” the caller replied. “Kempton. Kempton, off East 105th Street.”

EMS documents show eight minutes after that initial 911 call was placed, paramedics finally arrived at the address on Kempton Avenue.

“You get it misunderstood,” Bell asked. “You didn’t get the correct address? Something is wrong with that.”

Jha-Syah passed away earlier this month, and Bell told News 5 she believes her grandson’s chances of survival could have improved if a mistake hadn’t been made.

“I want them to have a better response,” she said. “It takes a minute for someone to lose a life. [The ambulance] went somewhere else. So they need to tell us what happened.”

The funeral for Jha-Syah Anthony Rogers is set for March 5, Bell said.

Transparency Tracker

Cleveland EMS: 4 - Complied with some of our requests in a reasonable time frame

Transparency Tracker 4

911 calls and CAD report were readily accessible. News 5 reached out to Cleveland EMS for a statement on the matter and is still awaiting a response as of Thursday afternoon

Learn more about News 5's "Transparency Tracker" initiative here.