Oakwood Village Donates Ambulance to East Cleveland After Others Break Down

East Cleveland is under pressure from state officials to cut its budget to keep pace with falling revenues.
East Cleveland is under pressure from state officials to cut its budget to keep pace with falling revenues. (Nick Castele / ideastream)
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by Nick Castele

The city of East Cleveland had a scare this week after its last working ambulance broke down, but the cash-strapped suburb is up and running now with an emergency donation from Oakwood Village.

The news came in a Facebook post from the East Cleveland firefighters’ union: an ambulance the city received from Mayfield Heights had broken down. That meant this suburb in fiscal emergency would need to rely on its neighbors for certain 9-1-1 calls.

Oakwood Village Mayor Gary Gottschalk said his fire chief learned of the breakdown from staff who work in both communities.

“Paramedics that are part of our part-time forces over here were intermediaries, and indicated the serious condition of what East Cleveland was in, and we thought we’d be able to help them,” Gottschalk said. 

The village had an ambulance it wasn’t using, he said, and donated it to East Cleveland on Monday.

“There could be nothing worse than not being able to service a senior that needs some help,” he said. 

East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton said he expects another three ambulances to be fixed and on the street this week. The city received a $1.7 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to hire more firefighters.

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