Handful of Detroit's new EMS rigs still not making it onto street

Rigs facing inspection, mechanical issues

By Shawn Ley - Reporter

DETROIT - It's been a bumpy road for Detroit's new ambulance fleet.

Local corporations donated 23 new ambulances to the city to beef up its beleaguered fleet of aging, broken down ambulances.

The goal was to add millions of dollars in new ambulances to the streets to improve on the EMS response time for emergencies. 

Previous story: Detroit receives final group of new ambulances

That reduction in response time just hasn't happened and it's due to a number of issues regarding the new EMS units.

First, Local 4 discovered that 13 of the new ambulances donated to the city on Dec. 5 hadn't been placed into service. We found them parked behind the city's 911 dispatch center. 

Previous story: Donated Detroit EMS rigs not in service

The city said it dropped the ball in getting the new ambulances through a mandatory state inspection.

After our report, the rigs were inspected and placed into service. 

Now, just days later, 10 of the new ambulances are off of the streets. 

Medics tell Local 4 the 10 have mechanical issues and are in the shop -- that means medics are covering for areas where a new ambulance should be working and in some cases medics are driving 10 miles to emergencies.

One of the new ambulances has already been in an accident and is in the shop. Other new rigs are out of commission due to break downs such as the loss of the air ride suspension on one unit, transmission issues and water leaking into a cab of one of the trucks.

Medics have been told that the problems will be fixed by tomorrow and that the city's new fleet should be a full strength by then.

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