D.C. Council Discusses Fire and EMS Effectiveness

Fire Chief Kenneth Ellerbe testifies about patient deaths and protocols

 

 
 
 

MATT ACKLAND and WILL THOMAS, MyFoxDC | | Tuesday, February 25, 2014


VIDEOS

Multimedia Thumb

D.C. Council Holds Hearing over Patient Death

Fire chief testifies before city leaders about failed response.
more >





WASHINGTON (MyFoxDC) - The D.C. Council held a hearing to discuss protocols within the department and the effectiveness of emergency responders.

This comes after the death of Cecil Mills, who passed away after having a heart attack across the street from a fire station in Northeast D.C. Emergency responders did not help him and were dispatched to the wrong address.

Councilmember Tommy Wells has been saying for weeks now once the internal investigation into the Mills case was complete, he wanted to hold a full hearing. That report came out Friday.

JEMS: Report Released on Death of Man Across from D.C. Firehouse

Mills’ family arrived at the Wilson building early, telling Wells, “It's time for change."

Several other families also testified at the hearing about relatives who have died because they believe D.C. Fire and EMS personnel did not properly do their job.

“My son was 35, no medical problems. He died from a heart attack that could have been saved,” said Julie Moses.

The case getting the most attention -- the death of Cecil Mills. His large family attended the hearing.

“It is impossible to understand how the ambulance that was finally dispatched was initially sent and actually went to the wrong quadrant of the city,” said the victim’s son, Cecil Mills III.

Fire Chief Kenneth Ellerbe was in attendance and testified as well.

"If we have employees, because of apathy or some other reason, failed to follow our rules and regulations and render care as required, we have responsibility to take action," said Ellerbe.

Councilmember Wells, who is chairman of the Public Safety Committee, said what has happened to each of these families must be fully investigate and it can't happen again.

Wells asked, “How is it possible that five different people failed to act when faced with an immediate need?”

Firefighters and EMS union representative also express embarrassment and regret for the Mills incident. But they pointed to a larger problem inside the department.

“We want to know ‘the why’ -- the question the public has demanded,” said Ed Smith of the District of Columbia Firefighters Association. “We want to make every effort possible to restore public confidence, which we hold so dearly.”

Last week, an internal report was released by the deputy mayor for public safety’s office, saying five people inside the firehouse the day Mills had a heart attack should have rushed to help him. But many worry that report won't lead to major changes to prevent another tragic outcome.

“It’s time for change,” said Mills III. “My family and I do not want anyone to feel the pain and loss we continue to feel.”

Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Paul Quander testified at the hearing, apologizing and answering questions about the internal report issued last Friday. He said Chief Ellerbe is not to blame here, but the fault should go to the five firefighters and four dispatchers who didn't follow basic procedures.
 

Mobile Category: 
News




D.C. Council Holds Hearing over Patient Death


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, delayed service, DCFEMS, DCFD

 
What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Buyer's Guide Featured Companies

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Mechanical CPR is Producing Resuscitation Results Beyond Expectations

Discover why clinical studies are finding mechanical CPR just as effective as optimally-performed CPR.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

New York First Responders Take Extraordinary Steps to Help Residents

Snow causes fire and EMS crews to go beyond call of duty.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Raw Video: Explosion and Fire at California Business

Over a dozen hurt in Santa Paula blaze.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Four Workers Killed at Texas Chemical Plant

Five employees exposed to methyl mercaptan in La Porte.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Worker Killed in North Carolina Bridge Collapse

A fatal construction site collapse occurred in Wake County.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Plane Crashes into Chicago Home

Pilot reported engine trouble after takeoff.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Switzerland Landslide Kills Two, Injures Four

Slide hits residential building near Lugano.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

World Trade Center Rescue

Technical rescue work is done at nation’s tallest skyscraper.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


More Product Videos >