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Detroit City Council hears about EMS "management" problems

The Detroit City Council got a briefing onchronic troubles with the city’s Emergency Medical Services Monday.

EMS Chief Jerald James told the Council that only 19 of the city’s 47  EMS vehicles are in use right now. The other 27 are awaiting repair.

James also  says the understaffed department also has the money to hire 57 new employees--but  can’t find people to fill those positions.

Wisam Zeineh, President of the Detroit Emergency Medical Services Association, says these and other chronic EMS problems date back several years--causing some residents to wait over an hour for ambulances. 

“This is a public safety entity responsible for saving people’s lives. So hopefully somebody realizes that human life is valuable and means something, and gets on the ball and gets us someone who knows how to run a department.”


Detroit Mayor Dave Bing fired the city’s Fire Commissioner and another top department official earlier this month over an unrelated incident.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.