D.C. Fire Officials Address Recent Ambulance Response Issues

WASHINGTON (AP/ABC7) – District of Columbia public safety officials held a news conference Friday to discuss concerns over ambulance response times.

Tuesday night, Prince George’s County emergency crews had to respond to an injured D.C. police officer because no ambulances were available to respond.

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During the news conference, officials say the mutual aid system worked. Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice Paul Quander added that when the call came in, 10 ambulances were out of services. He explained a couple were making calls, and some were restocking. Quander said at least three units may have gone out of service in an inappropriate manner. Exact numbers were not given.

Quander explained that he is working to identify any issues and make improvements.

Officials also addressed the recent transport of a stroke patient. On Thursday night, a stroke patient was rushed to the hospital on a fire truck, but Councilmember Tommy Wells said that incident so far appears unconnected to any ambulance shortage. Officials at the press conference explained a fire truck was used because it was the best option for transport.

Firefighter union president Ed Smith said the department needs more personnel and equipment.