Union rep: Issue with Detroit EMS rig transporting mauled baby - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Union rep: Issue with Detroit EMS rig transporting mauled baby

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DETROIT -- Detroit Police removed a pit bull from a house on the 7000 block of Stahelin Thursday after they said the dog mauled a three-week-old baby girl.  The baby was sleeping in her car seat on the dining room floor when the dog attacked.  As emergency crews tried to save her, we're told their equipment failed.

"They were responding to the hospital, Grace Northwest, with this child in the back of the ambulance working on the child aggressively when they started having vehicle problems," said Joe Barney, who represents the Detroit's EMS union.

"At one point, they were reporting that their speed was 20 to 40 miles per hour on the expressway," he added.  "There's no excuse for not having ambulances that run and function properly."

Sadly, the baby died.  Barney said it is not clear whether a properly working ambulance would've made a difference in this case, but he is distraught over the condition of the fleet and the state of the system.

"This is what happens when you have a dysfunctional city government.  This is what happens when you have bad decisions being made," Barney said.  "We sat down with this city.  They needed to save money.  We showed them where to save money.  They needed help.  They didn't listen.  They didn't want to listen."

"There's no leadership here.  Nothing's working here.  It's broke."

We're told the ambulance that transported the baby was returned to the dealership after developing a mechanical problem.

Barney said many ambulances have more than 100,000 miles on them.  As FOX 2 has reported, they've broken down on emergency calls before.

Barney also broke down, telling us the technician in this case didn't get the psychological help he needed.

"They sent a chaplain out to see him and basically told him that we'll pray for you.  I'm up to midnight, my members screaming and yelling, my department's just a mess.  There's nothing in place for my medics.  Our people are emotionally a wreck."

Barney blames Mayor Dave Bing and even the governor.  He is pleading with city and state leaders to do something about this ongoing problem that is a matter of life and death.

Meanwhile, we've learned the pit bull has been euthanized.

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