DETROIT - Local 4 has learned there's a new chief at Detroit's EMS. The department has been riddled with problems, including slow response time, faulty rigs and shoddy equipment.
Sean Larkins was made Detroit's EMS chief in February by Mayor Mike Duggan. With him came much hope, including new equipment like the donated state-of-the-art $170,000 ambulances that took the city from worst to first for its 350 daily calls.
The broken-down old ones would often lose wheels on the way to emergencies.
West Michigan-based medical equipment provider Stryker donated $20,000 hydraulic gurneys that saved paramedic backs.
Larkins said he would get the department to the national response time standard of eight minutes. Local 4 News has learned through sources that never happened -- Detroit EMS current is averaging roughly 12 minutes. There is some progress but not enough.
Yet those same sources told Local 4 there was much more going on in a chaotic department. Larkins apparently was having trouble with insubordinate employees and battles with field officers.
Now put in place to pull the reins and get the department back into line is 54-year-old Angela Turner. She is a lieutenant who has worked in the department headquarters and had been an acting captain for two years.
The Mayor's Office said Turner has been to the Eastern Michigan Staff and Command School and is ready to run the department. She is married to Detroit Fire Department Capt. Gregory Turner.
Yet, the sources Local 4 spoke with said there are deep concerns about Angela Turner's qualifications, and her relationship with the rank and file EMS technicians appears tenuous at best.
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