“Baltimore, we are one of the busiest E.M.S. fire department systems in the country. We are simply overrun with calls. We have staff shortages. We have unit shortages. It just took an obscene amount of time to get a transport unit to the scene to help this little boy get to the hospital,” said Rich Langford, president of the Baltimore City Fire Local 734 union.
Langford explained that the boy “is doing good” after the accident on Friday. He explained that a fire crew responded right away and rendered care at the scene.
“The problem is we have to wait for the ambulance to get there to transport him to the hospital. That’s where the long delay came in,” Langford said.
Langford’s comments came after the Local 734 tweeted about the 58-minute wait time.
Langford said that the EMS is “losing a lot of members right now.” Langford said that the workload is “overwhelming, with 345,000 calls last year.
“Our department needs help. We need more money to help us get through this. We have been understaffed for years now. It’s finally caught up to us. We have over 40 vacancies in our E.M.S. division alone,” he said.
Last month, the Baltimore Police Department requested federal police officers to combat violent crime in the city.
It was also revealed via recent court testimony that Baltimore’s police department is facing a severe shortage of police officers. The department currently has 600 vacancies which include 392 officers and 14 detectives.
Baltimore is on track for 300 homicides for the seventh year in a row and is expected to experience 1,000 shootings by the end of the year.