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Officials Respond After Reports That 12-Year-Old Had To Wait Nearly An Hour For An Ambulance After Being Struck By A Car

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- If your child was hit by a car, how long should you wait for an ambulance? The president of the Baltimore City Firefighters Union said one 12-year-old in Southeast Baltimore had to wait 58 minutes. He's blaming it on severe staffing shortages.

Under-staffed and just about fed up. It's apparently been an ongoing problem for months in Baltimore City.

"We don't have enough units on the street every day to provide the service the citizens of Baltimore need," said Langford.

Local 734 Union President, Rich Langford said the city is one of the busiest Fire and EMS Departments in the country and right now, they're simply overwhelmed.

"We are experiencing 30, 40, 45 minutes wait times on the regular now," said Langford.

Fire officials said on Friday, a 12-year-old girl was hit by a car on Mcelderry Street and it took nearly an hour for an ambulance to respond.

"It does appear the ambo showed up 50 minutes afterward but we have to keep in mind that our suppression units are EMTs and they are paramedics. At the time they arrive on scene they're there to render care," said Fire Chief Niles Ford.

Monday, Ford said the patient was a priority two. He said the girl actually went home after she was hit and that's when someone called for help.

"It's something we are investigating, but that day we had a very very busy day," said Chief Ford.

"It's unacceptable for anybody to have to wait that it puts the patient at greater risk they can go downhill very quickly," said Langford.

Langford said everyone needs to come together to find a solution.

"Our members are fatigued, there's a lot of mental stress. We need to do better we need to find a way to fix this problem we need to add units," said Langford.

The issue goes beyond the city with staffing shortages and pandemic pressures hitting departments nationwide.

Right now, Baltimore City Fire has about 40 openings within the department.

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