Detroit's new EMS fleet: When will help be on the way?

Detroit's new EMS fleet: When will help be on the way?

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One of Detroit's new ambulances One of Detroit's new ambulances

In a parking lot in Bloomfield Hills are dozens of new police cars and some new EMS rigs being outfitted to hit the streets of Detroit.

"It would appear to any reasonable person that they would deploy these vehicles as soon as possible with the crime rate being what it is down in the City of Detroit," said Kevin Stewart.

Some Fox 2 viewers from Pontiac are frustrated. They have been watching our coverage of the ambulance crisis in Detroit and looking at the new life-saving rigs sitting in a parking lot.

"I heard the report that a lady got shot in the head, and the police had to take her to the hospital. There were no EMS vehicles to transport. And why not? Because they're all sitting over here," said Mona Hofmeister.

Wednesday, we told you about 23-year-old Jazmine Fisher, who was shot in the head and transported to the hospital by Detroit Police, not EMS.

On Tuesday, we told you Detroit EMS regularly has no units available. They are down to seven to ten trucks for the entire city.

"Here they are hiding in plain sight," Hofmeister said.

"This is all hands on deck emergency, and the only that are doing the work are the guys out on the trucks," said Joseph Barney. "We generate the most revenue. We're losing revenue every day by not having these trucks up."

The union president told me his EMTs have started training on the new rigs, which are a lot bigger than those in the current fleet. So everybody has to be trained, and they are concerned about the new vehicles being properly maintained.

There is talk of hiring private mechanics to make sure the rigs stay up and running unlike the old rigs that continuously break down and have not been properly maintained.

The new fleet of 23 ambulances and 100 new police cars is an $8 million gift from the business community, a generous gift from Roger Penske and many others, but so many are wondering when they will be off his lot in Oakland County and out on the streets of Detroit where they are so desperately needed.

"Enough is enough. To Kevyn Orr, cut the red tape and get these vehicles on the streets of Detroit," Stewart said.

We received a statement from Detroit Mayor Dave Bing's office. It read, in part, that the city has received the first ten of 23 EMS units purchased from the manufacturer. The necessary life-saving equipment and radios are being installed. As soon as the vehicles are ready, they will be put in service. The statement said that is expected before the end of the month.

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