Ambulances in Detroit continue to sit idle as city faces emergency services staffing shortage

Monday 15 rigs were idled

The Local 4 Defenders are tracking staffing shortages that are keeping EMS rigs in Detroit from getting on the streets.

DETROIT – Staffing shortages continue to leave Detroit EMS rigs off the streets.

On a normal day, 25 EMS rigs are out on the streets responding to calls for help. On Monday, 15 of those rigs were idled. That meant Detroit had to rely on outside ambulances to make runs.

Read: Detroit is dealing with an emergency services staffing shortage

Ruth Yaldoo needed an ambulance right away for her mother who is 94 years old. It was a serious emergency.

“She had a fall, a fluke, she tripped and fell,” Yaldoo said.

Yaldoo is concerned that her mother will need another ambulance and there will be a delay.

The Detroit Fire Department had to close down EMS units daily due to staffing issues.

Medics and EMTs with the Detroit Fire Department have quit, retired, or are injured and the department is short-staffed. So each day the department has to close multiple units around the city.

Fire Commissioner Eric Jones said overtime is offered to medics to cover extra shifts.

“However if the individual refused the overtime, we have to close that unit because we don’t run one-person ambulances,” Jones said.

Read: More Local 4 Defender coverage

About the Authors:

Local 4 Defender Shawn Ley is an Emmy award-winning journalist who has been with Local 4 News for more than a decade.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.