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EMS workers suspended for refusing to send ambulance to gunshot victim

CLEVELAND -- A Cleveland Emergency Medical Services dispatcher and supervisor have been suspended for refusing to send an ambulance to a man who was shot 16 times and drove across the city line. Police say the 22-year-old victim was shot multiple times Jan. 14 with an assault rifle as he was getting into his SUV.

The victim managed to drive into Euclid, where he was discovered by a police officer.

Police say Cleveland EMS refused to send an ambulance because he left the city. The Euclid EMS was attending the scene of a fire. 

"It was not that there wasn't any ambulances available. There was an issue with the fact that, when they requested it, there was a misunderstanding requesting an ambulance from another city," Director of Public Safety Michael McGrath told CBS News affiliate WOIO-TV in January.   

Officers put him in a police cruiser and took him to Euclid Hospital. The victim survived the shooting.

A Cleveland spokesman says dispatcher MyLinh Lam and Sgt. Jewel Smith were suspended without pay for one day. 

WOIO-TV reports that in addition to this shooting, authorities also ignored a call for assistance in November when several cars were "mangled" on the border of the city's East Side. 

Deputy commissioner Dave Miller said town lines shouldn't matter when it comes to emergency response aide. 

"The matter is under investigation," he told WOIO-TV. 

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