Monday, the city announced the hire of 39 new EMTs to help cut down on an average Cleveland EMS response time of 11 minutes and 58 seconds.
City officials hope with these new hires, response times will fall to just under eight minutes.
This will allow the city to staff 25 ambulances during the day, up from 21, and 21 at night, up from 19.
“We’re keenly aware of a lack of response times cause we get the calls from our constituents,” said City Councilman Mike Polensek (D – Ward 8).
Polensek is hopeful the new EMS hires and a fleet of nine new ambulances will drastically reduce response times. Polesek also hopes the move signals the eventual combination of Cleveland Fire and EMS into one city department.
“The citizens deserve it. When you call for yourself or a member of your family, you don’t care who’s coming to your house. You want somebody there quickly to provide the best service and get you to the hospital. That’s what you want and that’s what our citizens expect,” he said.
The new hires were paid for by an income tax hike. The new EMS cadets will begin in early 2018.