With 4 ambulances offline, Baltimore City FD assigns EMS teams to medic standby units

“We already have long delays without EMS units because of staffing issues, crowding at the hospital,” said local union president Rich Langford


By Leila Merrill

BALTIMORE — The Baltimore City Fire Department assigned EMS teams to medic standby units instead of four ambulances over the weekend because the rigs need repairs. But the units are SUVs and cannot transport patients, Fox45 reported.

The medic standby units are equipped with medical supplies to allow for patient care, but patients who need to be transported to hospitals must wait for an available ambulance.

Like other EMS and fire agencies, the Baltimore Citiy Fire Department has a staff shortage.

“We already have long delays without EMS units because of staffing issues, crowding at the hospital — but when you have four more broke down that puts us from 28 units to 24 units transport,” said Rich Langford, president of Baltimore Firefighters IAFF Local 734. “So now that makes the whole situation even worse.”

Assistant Fire Chief Roman Clark said Monday that it is unclear when the EMS units can be repaired because of delays getting parts.

“We have many apparatus that are way past their prime,” Langford said. “They are slowly falling apart.”

Langford says aging fire trucks, fire engines and ambulances are a problem that pre-dates the COVID-19 pandemic.

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