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Ambulance Report Highly Critical of D.C. Fire Chief

Findings to show response system did not work, causing a delay

Thursday, March 21, 2013


WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - An 8-year veteran of the Metropolitan Police Department laid on the street seriously injured for nearly 20 minutes with no help.

"Whether it's a police officer or a resident or a tourist, it doesn't matter. That cannot happen," president of the local police and firefighters union said.

At a press conference three days later, the Fire Chief described his department's response to the injured officer nearly two-weeks ago.

"I tell you our department responded as best it could." They also added, "Tuesday, the system worked."

But according to a new report, the system did not work. In fact, there were three ambulances that could have responded but didn't. Two ambulances had been taken out of service prematurely -- one for a minor mechanical issue, the other for a shift change. But the third ambulance was listed out of service by mistake.

"It was an error in the computer system. They are exemplary employees," said Ed Smith the president of the local firefighters union.

He says the problem wasn't the ambulance's crew. But rather computer glitch that's been going on for years.

"I think there is a systemic problem."

This morning Mayor Gray was asked about the investigations findings, but he had little to say.

Tags: News, News Video, DCFD, DCFEMS, delayed response, delayed service


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