That led us to investigate and ask when that system will be fixed.
The I-Team has the recordings showing what went wrong, and we’ve learned what happened in this case is not that unusual.
This incident began with a 911 call from a home in LaGrange.
“My 83-year-old dad, he can’t breathe,” a woman reported.
But, when the EMS crew got to the house, dispatch couldn’t make contact.
You hear multiple transmissions, including “911 dispatch, 39 checkup…” and “911 dispatch to La Grange 39…”
There was no answer.
First responders say they really need a new radio system in Lorain County. In this case, dispatch could only reach the EMS crew by calling back the woman who had called 911 for help.
“Hello?” she answered.
“Hi, ma’am, this is Lorain County 911. I am looking to attempt to speak to the LaGrange EMS crew that is on scene,” the dispatcher said.
“Hi, this is LaGrange 39,” a crew member then said.
“I apologize for interrupting while you’re on scene,” the dispatcher said. “I don’t know if we’re coming across on yours (radio), but we’re just not getting anything.”
“Yeah, I’m not hearing you on the radio,” the crew member said.
So, the I-Team went to the Lorain County administration building. We took a copy of that recording. We wanted to play it for one of the commissioners as a chance to show why first responders are so desperate for a new radio system.
We played some of the recording for Commissioner Jeff Riddell.
“It’s a story that needs to be told, and nobody’s denying the equipment in Lorain County is not in need of upgrading,” he said.
Days ago, Riddell voted for the county to back out of a contract for a new radio system. So, we asked why. We also asked how much longer first responders will now wait for another contract to fix the system.
“The contract was poorly written,” Riddell said. “It was done without competitive bidding, and it’s $8 million and we have to be sure the taxpayers money is spent wisely.”
As for how much time now has been added to the process, Riddell said, “I would say we’re talking months. At this point, I would say we don’t have a timetable.”
Back at the scene, dispatch recordings show the patient was taken to the hospital.
The commissioner says county leaders are meeting and trying to move along the process to get a new radio system.