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 ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS





 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Progress

Follow in the footsteps of these inspirational leaders of EMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Community Paramedicine Expanding in Maine

Eight departments receive a grant for use towards the new program.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

New Ambulance, Fire Engine Approved for Illinois Department

Officials approve new purchases for Bloomington.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Alabama Officials Worry over Ambulance Coverage

County officials work to find best solution.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Car Crashes into Texas Ambulance

Ambulance hit while responding to a call.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

San Diego Fire-Rescue Responds to Plane Crash

Small plane crashes in shopping center parking lot.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

California Beach Lightning Strike MCI

More than a dozen injured in Venice Beach lighting strike.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

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

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


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

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


More Product Videos >