CHICAGO (CBS) — For years, CBS 2’s Pam Zekman has been reporting on a critical shortage of ambulances in Chicago. On Thursday, she took her investigations to the new mayor and found help is on the way.

In response to our previous stories, Mayor Emanuel added five additional ambulances to the fleet last July.

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“It was putting a band-aid on a wound that needed a tourniquet,” Chicago Fire Department paramedic Patrick Fitzmaurice said. “It was done because you pounded Rahm Emanuel.”

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Twenty more are needed, according to a study done by the International Association of Firefighters and CBS 2’s study that showed Chicago ranks last of the five largest cities for the number of ambulances per 100,000 people.

At a press conference Thursday announcing her summer safety program, we asked Mayor Lori Lightfoot what she will do to make sure anyone who is sick or injured gets safely to a hospital in time.

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“I’ve seen the reporting that has been done and Chief Ford and I will address those issues,” Lightfoot said.

Life and death issues faced by a heart attack victim who waited 24 minutes for an ambulance to arrive.

That man survived, but some haven’t.

“I’ve seen the reporting. We’re moving forward to make sure that we resolve any outstanding issues,” Lightfoot said.

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The fire department says it is working on a study of ambulance response times with no end in sight because it is so complicated. We’ve been waiting
months for that information. But, today’s commitment to needed resources by Mayor Lightfoot is a step in the right direction.