When a late-afternoon thunderstorm rumbled across Toledo yesterday, sheets of rain and gusting winds weren't the only problems.
A quick series of five injury traffic accidents left firefighters scrambling to find enough ambulances to transport the injured to local hospitals.
At one point, there just weren't any more ambulances available - "it's slim pickings," a dispatcher radioed - after firefighters at two of the mishaps said they needed three ambulances.
And one crew that requested two decided to settle for one.
"All the ambulances were busy transporting other patients in the city," fire Capt. Tom Lewandowski said.
His engine responded to an accident at Douglas Road and Langenderfer Drive that injured three people about 6:30 p.m.
Captain Lewandowski said it "maybe took three minutes longer" to get an ambulance dispatched to the scene than during slower periods when a dispatcher can get an ambulance out in 30 seconds.
Within several minutes, all three of the ambulances they had requested were on their way.
"Everybody was able to be transported that needed to be," Captain Lewandowski explained.
In addition to the accident on Douglas, an accident at 6:05 p.m. at Detroit Avenue and Monroe Street left three people hurt.
At Alexis and Hagman roads at 6:12 p.m., one person was injured.
Three people were injured at Auburn Avenue and Monroe Street at 6:18 p.m.
A 6:44 p.m. accident on the Anthony Wayne bridge caused no injuries.
After that, the accident rate slowed down.