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News reports: No ambulance available for DC motor cop struck. 18 minute wait for PGFD ambulance. FOP head again blasts fire chief.

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WJLA-TV/ABC 7:

A MPD officer struck in a hit-and-run had to wait nearly 20 minutes before an ambulance arrived on scene.

A vehicle struck the MPD officer just after 6:30 p.m. at 46th and A streets SE. When the call was dispatched, D.C. said they had no available EMS units to send.

An ambulance from Prince George’s County was dispatched, arriving to the scene at 6:52 p.m. Nearly an hour passed between the time the officer was struck and his arrival time at MedStar Washington Hospital.

According to police, the suspect fled the scene, leaving the vehicle behind.

The officer was conscious and breathing upon transport to an area hospital.

Alan Blinder, Washington Examiner:

(PGFD Chief Spokesman Mark) Brady said the Prince George’s ambulance, joined by a D.C. paramedic, took the injured officer to a trauma center in Washington for treatment.

Spokesmen for Mayor Vincent Gray and the D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment Tuesday night.

But Kristopher Baumann, the leader of the District’s police union, slammed the city’s response and blamed Fire Chief Kenneth Ellerbe for the episode.

“At this point, Chief Ellerbe has pushed the fire department into a place where it cannot perform even the most basic services. From everything we’ve seen, it has been one misstep, one act of mismanagement after another,” Baumann said. “We are now in a situation where a police officer is laying out in the cold, out in the street, because the fire chief can’t provide ambulances.”

Edward Smith, the president of the firefighters union, said he hoped the incident would spur the city to increase the number of available ambulances.

“We hope there are more units available in the future for timely transport,” he said. “It’s a matter of public safety.” 


Comments - Add Yours

  • Mike DCFD

    Once again “lrb” is putting public safety at risk. Thank God his injuries were not more serious. “lrb” should be Summarily Fired by the start of business tomorrow, and if the Mayor does not then he should be IMPEACHED!!!!

  • Groundhog day

    Dave do you ever get tired of posting articles about the incompetence of a high paid district manager? You could open up a separate web site just for this clown and the antics.

  • DCFD

    This happens everyday. We run out of ambulances E V E R Y D A Y
    Unfortunately it took a cop being injured and waiting for one to become a story but hopefully it will cause people outside of the Dept to realize what kind of individual we have running this show. Thanks for the support FOP.

  • Charlie

    Obviously you are not up to speed with the way DC Fire Dept runs. All of our units are staffed. We don’t jump from piece to piece. ALL transport units were tied up on other runs in the city which is a daily occurrence. Try to be a little more informed next time.

    • dave statter

      Charlie, who is uninformed. Not sure who you are referring to.

      • http://statter911.com Charlie

        Thought I had replied to one of the first Facebook comments which was stating that firemen should have gotten off of the engine/truck/squad and staffed the ambulance that was in house. Do not think the poster understands how equipment is staffed here.

        • dave statter

          Got it. Didn’t connect the two. Sorry Charlie (and I apologize for that too).

  • Wilson Says

    Time to take out the TRASH… LRB and his ban of merry misfits need to go bye bye. What’s next another city empoyee, or even one of their own who can’t get an ambulance in their time of need? Good to hear the officer is doing ok. This is UNBELIEVEABLE and Shameful! DCFD men and women keep doing the best you can eventually this will all blow up and change!

  • Scooter

    DCFD fire admn. sounds like it needs a lot of work to straighten up. Strike Da Box! k

  • Anonymous

    Let me guess… the horrible firemen staged another sick out…

  • waiting.for.retaliation

    Baumann is absolutely correct. Between overtime restrictions that routinely allow up to 50% of medic units to be downgraded, creating working conditions that lead to a massive exodus of paramedics and no effort to hire more medics or convince the few that are left to stay (more are planning on leaving), and the deplorable state of the fleet itself (at any given time it seems that at least half of the fleet is in reserve units), Ellerbe and his openly hostile “leadership” model that relies on intimidation and retaliation has destroyed not only the morale of the department, but also its ability to fulfill one of its core missions. He has no excuse this time. He can’t try to pass blame on it being a busy holiday, or try to slanderously accuse FF’s of creating staffing shortages with an intentional sick out. It was a Tuesday. An average Tuesday. There is no reason transport units should not be available. No one should be left waiting injured in the street because DCFEMS has no transport units to respond. Unfortunately this situation has become all too common. Do not let him blame the rank and file any longer. He is the Chief, he needs to accept responsibility for the state of the department he runs!

  • HOOKMAN

    The answer to this will be easy….the story is innacurate and if you want the truth please schedule a time we can meet so we can establish a foundation…..

  • Commenter

    #1 Get rid of Ellerbe
    #2 shunt stable non-emergency patients to private ambulance services
    #3 Get more transport units on the street – cannibalize overhead personnel first, then units from double houses if you have to. Look back 3 years and figure out how many you’ve ever needed.
    #4 especially if you have to lose some fire companies: run EMS calls with EMS units. 80% of calls can be handled by two healthy Firefighter/EMTs on an ambulance. 20% of calls will require a second, ALS ambulance. 2% will require additional personnel. Instead of using 6-10 personnel to handle a sick person, use 2-4.

    • Anonymous

      Why would you rob one service to accommodate another? Despite what you may think a DCFD fire engine or truck is busier than the average Engine across the country, even without the high volume of medical runs. In a city that has a huge surplus due to the growing population, the only real logical solution is to hire more personnel to staff more units. We shouldn’t cut services in one area to add services in another. But, I can agree with you to get rid of Ellerbe. Que the biased statistics that DCFD Engine Companies are not needed and the ones that are should have 5 Inch Supply Line, Bumper Turrets, 1 3/4 attack lines, and Robots to operate them all. Screw it how about quints with stretchers on them.

  • Anonymous

    Unfortunately, the chief will say that the fix is easy: start closing fire companies and put the personnel on ambulances. For every engine he closes he can operate 2 transport units. They can run as basic units and the medic on an engine can upgrade them if needed.

  • groundhog day

    There were no ambulances available on monday either. There is also a “omega” response now which means you really dont need an ambulance but we are going to send one anyways. The fact of the matter is: If you have your button up on and sleeves rolled down thats what matters most

  • Anonymous

    “But Kristopher Baumann, the leader of the District’s police union, slammed the city’s response and blamed Fire Chief Kenneth Ellerbe for the episode”.

    “At this point, Chief Ellerbe has pushed the fire department into a place where it cannot perform even the most basic services. From everything we’ve seen, it has been one misstep, one act of mismanagement after another,” Baumann said. “We are now in a situation where a police officer is laying out in the cold, out in the street, because the fire chief can’t provide ambulances.”

    Unbelievable!!

  • haveyouseenmybaseball?

    Here’s another dinosaur tale. Running out of ambulances in DC is nothing new. 45 minute to hour long waits were the norm. I remember one working CPR the lineman, pumperman (that’s how old I am) and I were switching off pumping and blowing, our officer was on the portable desperately asking for an ETA on the ambulance and being told, “You’re on the list.” 50 minutes later the ambo shows up and of course the due is deader than dead. The difference between then and today was, the summer was always stupid busy and you could count on every Friday and Saturday night to be stupid busy with an occasional weekday to be the same. I’d say that the past 15 years have been stupid busy ALL the time, nowadays a Friday is the same as a Monday, is the same as a Thursday, is the same as a Saturday, is the same as a Tuesday, YEAR ROUND. No accommodation has been made for this phenomena, it’s all “leadership” by crisis, nuthin’ new. That’s how we roll in DC.

  • Anonymous

    For you individuals that post. How many of you are willing to ride the ambulance voluntary or when they place your company OOS to staff more ambulances?

    • VanMan429

      Probably a lot, if they weren’t so exhausted from hold-overs, etc. Most of us don’t do this for the money (onbiously), we do it to help people. But if we’ve been going 80-90 hours already, we don’t have any strength for anything else… like family (remember them?)

    • waiting.for.retaliation

      The average back step firefighter is detailed to an ambulance, basic unit (ALS unit downgraded to BLS when an EMS person does not show up and the city won’t pay a medic overtime) or medic unit at least as often as riding the fire engine, if not more often. The average FF/Medic on a PEC company spends on average 50% or more of their time each day on a transport unit.

      Robbing Peter to pay Paul (Placing suppression units out of service to staff EMS units) is not the answer. Adequate staffing is just as important for suppression units as it is for EMS units. Shorter staffing means longer response times to fires and fewer firefighters to put them out, which will translate into more lives and property needlessly lost. We will stay in the news, but it will be for people dying in buildings that are on fire while the closest suppression units were closed down.

      Until the department pays overtime to medics to ensure staffing on ALL ALS units, hires more medics (civilian or FF) to fill vacancies so they will no longer need to rely on overtime for staffing, and hires more BLS providers (FF or single role) to place enough units in service to meet the call volume demands, extended waits for transport units to be available will continue to be an every day occurrence, and when these now routine delays continue to have an adverse effect on patient outcome the department will continue to be in the news.

      And the new “staffing plans” that simply change shifts around will only make matters worse. It will be harder to backfill vacancies on single role units when the shifts no longer align (though this is all part of the plan to force firefighters into a different schedule) and placing sole responsibility for ALS care during “slower” times sounds great, until they are all unavailable because they are performing their “other” role, fighting fires, which still occur with frequency in the city.

      So please, do not try to blame the firefighters who are already out there 24/7 doing the best we can with what we are given, by saying we don’t want to do our jobs, when the real problem is an administration that is failing to do its job.

      • Commenter

        If you didn’t have a public outrage when two people died in a fire while the closest THREE fire engines were unavailable, you’re gonna have a hard time explaining how all three of them are needed for fire suppression. You may call it robbing Peter to pay Paul, but in this case Peter has cash falling out of his pockets, and Paul can’t get an ambulance to an injured cop in a timely manner.

        • waiting.for.retaliation

          The closest 3 engines you are referring to were all paramedic engines that were already out on EMS runs, and were not unavailable due to lack of staffing or because they were put out of service to staff EMS units, but rather because they were responding on runs that ALS transport units did not have staffing to handle. Two people died precisely because Peter was so busy taking calls Paul wasn’t staffed to take that he couldn’t adequately respond to his own emergencies. If anything, that incident just validates many of my arguments.

          First, in a system in which dual role providers make up the vast majority of responders, robbing staffing from one to provide staffing for another will not work. Invariably either fire or EMS response will suffer, with deadly results. Shifting staffing (so called “power shifts) will have the same result, as “non-peak” hours will rely more heavily on dual role providers to provide transport units and ALS care. Guess what, “non-peak (overnight) hours for EMS are a) when the highest percentage of calls are truly ALS and b) “peak” hours for the deadliest fires. In short, unless something changes, this will happen again.

          Second, inadequate staffing and the lack of availability of ALS transport units leads not only to delayed EMS response times, but lengthens response times to fire emergencies as well, as the units that would normally be closest are often occupied on ALS runs that should be handled by ALS transport units requiring units to respond to fire emergencies form further away, again with deadly results.

          Third, the manner in which DCFEMS utilizes its Paramedic Engine Companies is horribly flawed. Rather than dispatching a PEC as a first responder for an ALS transport unit, providing initial ALS care, then turning the patient over to an ALS transport crew, PEC’s are dispatched as the primary care providers. As such, the paramedic from the engine is often required to transport patients to the hospital, leaving that engine unavailable to respond to the ALS emergencies it was meant for. This, combined with inadequate ALS staffing, contributes even more so to delayed fire and EMS response times, as other ALS engines are now to respond even further to ALS runs (increasing EMS response times) while their area is now lacking coverage and still further engines are required to respond to their area. This cycle self perpetuates even on a “normal” day, again with potentially (as we have seen) very deadly results.

          Of course, left out of the whole equation entirely is the Office of Unified Command who seems to constantly evade scrutiny despite the fact that the majority of calls that are dispatched as ALS (contributing to every factor above) are actually BLS, and end up as ALS dispatches only because the call takers and dispatchers would rather upgrade every call to ALS just so that they can say they sent the highest level of care (thus protecting their jobs and shielding them from potential lawsuit) regardless of the actual call, rather than implement any sort of standard for accuracy in dispatching which could cut back on the numbers of calls dispatched as ALS, which would reduce ALS call volume and in turn leave more resources (both PEC and ALS transport units) available for true ALS emergencies.

          In short, the system is broken, and it is time the person in charge (and the person who put him there?) is actually accountable.

    • Anonymous

      My guess is…..NONE!!!

      Remember the “OUTRAGE” when the previous Administration instituted the Firefighter Ambulances, which many were “Hired” to staff?

    • groundhog day

      NONE- the 200 vacancies need to be filled, which has not been done bc in the council hearing the administrator said he doesnt want to hire anyone bc he wants his shift change

    • Anonymous

      Doubtful that any of them will. They all bitch about not having enough transport units and then bitch about riding the bus. They only think of themselves as “firefighters”. God forbid they upgrade the EMS side of the department.

  • Anonymous

    How many of those that post here would be willing to ride the ambulance. I dare say NONE of you. A dedicated EMS service is the most efficient way to provide EMS in an Urban setting.

  • Want 3rd service

    How many of you that post are willing to ride the ambulance to help improve the service. Perhaps this would become an assigned position or just another rotation. Meaning that you will be spending more time on the ambulance. I dare say the NONE of you would be willing to do this.

    A dedicated EMS service in an urban city is the most efficient way to deliver EMS service.

    • Mark too

      Actually, efficiency in delivering EMS in an urban setting is not dependent on having a “dedicated EMS service” (as in non-fire based). The most efficient way to deliver EMS in the urban setting is thru the use of the various fire companies as an initial responder whether ALS or BLS to bridge the gap between the 911 call and the arrival of a transport unit. The problem in DC really isn’t the fact that the transport units are operated by the FD. The problem is that they aren’t adequately staffing for the demand. If EMS was completely separate and they repeatedly downgraded units or browned them out instead of using OT to keep them staffed, you’d see the same results. The problem is poor leadership.

    • 30+ year fire guy

      How many of you that post are willing to ride an engine or truck to help improve the service. Perhaps this would become an assigned position or just another rotation. Meaning that you will be spending more time on the fire apparatus.

      A dedicated FIRE service unit in an urban city is the most efficient way to deliver fire protection. Leave EMS to dedicated providers, regardless if they are private, non-profit, or government.

  • Commenter

    Level of effort doesn’t justify public expenditures. I’m fine with you increasing your budget, I don’t pay taxes there. However, I know that DCFEMS is far more expensive per capita than MCDFRS, FCFRD, Baltimore City FD, Philadelphia, Buffalo, FDNY, or just about any other big old east coast city. IF you can sell that, fine. I wouldn’t buy it, but I don’ t live there.

    • Mike

      Below is a link to an article that is slightly dated, but still valid regarding DC’s population. While yes, DC may be far more expensive per capita then surrounding jurisdictions and “any other big old east coast city,” DC has a much larger daytime population than these jurisdictions. The city doubles in size almost everyday. Essentially you have half the taxes payers, but twice the service requirements of most jurisdictions.

      http://www.welovedc.com/2010/02/16/dc-mythbusting-daytime-population/

      Your argument also doesn’t account for many of the more expensive budget expenditures such as the Fire Boat, Foam Unit, adequate compensation of employees who live in one of the most expensive areas in the country, higher operating costs regarding facilities, etc.

  • Head Scratcher

    If I’m lying….I’m dying. An ALS unit goes out of service this week for mechanical reasons. It is a couple of blocks from their firehouse. The OOS unit informs Fleet Maintenance that it needs to be towed to the shop for repairs. The ALS crew walked back to the station. Several hours later, at the shop, an announcement is made on the intercom for the ALS crew to get their ambulance because it is repaired. The foreman becomes po’d because the crew did not respond to the announcement . That sounds nice except for a couple of things. First, the unit is still on street in NW and the crew is still at the firehouse, waiting for the tow truck. So, how in the hell did the mechanic fix the ambulance if it never arrived at the Apparatus shop in the first place.
    There are so many BLS and ALS units out of service because of mechanical problems and man power issues. There are plenty of people who be honored to be a single role EMT or paramedic. It just makes sense to hire these folks and stop playing with the citizens safety.

  • HOOKMAN

    Commenter……the idea of non emergency patients being transported by private ambulance is a novel idea….however, this would not facilitate the need to staff or purchase additional ambulances….if private ambulances transported non emergency/911 abusers, you’ll have numerous ambulances available for incidents such as this, Mr Ford’s poor family and everyone else who ACTUALLY needs immediate transport to the hospital….as a few have stated….this has been going on for years with no end in site….people who say our job is 80% medical calls is correct….but out of that 80%…I’d say 30-50% could be easily deemed non emergency calls….this isn’t East Podunk County where we put the closed sign up at the hardware store and run down to the firehall…close a firehouse or two in the Nations Capitol and someone dies (as has happened before) because you focused more on the need for more ambulances and forgot that on the average day…DC has at the minimum 2 fires a day…..

    At the end of the day….the only one to blame is the vindictive, retaliatory, intimidating, behavior of a second grader, inept, incompetent person who calls himself a leader…he believes in everything he does when 99.9% of the department believes otherwise, however, when you display childlike behavior in a grown mans environment such as Ellerbe has….your focus is not on the men and women in the trenches….its on those who’ve done him wrong, where people reside (other than SE DC), uniform appearance (black socks to creases in shirts), stripping the rich history and tradition of the DCFD to piss off the majority of those who value it and not because of the Rosenbaum task force recommendations to reprimanding certain individuals for the sole purpose of intimidation….n

    As long as this disturbing individual remains here in DC, the stories will keep on coming….this clown is a coward and so aren’t the few remaining trolls who do as he says because they have not the COCONUTS to stand up to him and stop the wrongdoings and injustices at the hands of King Cowards. Leaders lead and cowards spend their day having countless meetings about Im the boss and its my way or the highway…a good day in King FEMS world is having numerous reports written for petty things, so that more paperwork can be generated where the paper trails eventually wind up in the Kings Trial Board court where the recommendation for discipline will already be decided because those pre chosen to be on the Kings panel already know the decision before the trial has begun…..oh wait…i take that back….the King has already publicly said, “we don’t operate in a paynack environment”

    • Titanic

      Hook, you should adjust your numbers for BS BLS. On an average day riding an Ambo or downgraded(BLS) Medic unit anywhere from 75-90% of the runs you have DO NOT require an ambo, or even a trip to the hospital. Many of these runs are people with non-emergency illnesses, such as colds, stubbed toes that happened weeks ago, headaches, etc. Then there are the people who call for an ambo because they have a doctors appointment at a certain hospital. These folks get mad when you can’t take them to the hospital where their appointment is bc the ER is too backed-up to accept any new ambo patients. Of the remaining 10-25%, the majority of them are those running through the streets naked on PCP or the drunks who just need a bed to sleep it off. The remaining calls are for people who have legitimate medical emergencies.

      That is what’s tying up the transport units in this city. Address the social acceptability of abuse to the EMS transport system and DC will have adequate staffing and plenty of available buses for transport.

      • Ron Stewart

        LOL there is no “tying up units” in DC. The issue is that THERE ARE NOT ENOUGH TRANSPORT UNITS. It’s not rocket science. This will piss everyone off but DC could learn alot if we would look at how it is done in PG, FFX and MontCo…cry all you want but this is not the DC of the 90′s. We go shifts without a fire or heavy rescue nowadays….You never see so much whining and crying on county message boards. There are more fires, more apparatus and better management of an integrated fire/ems system in surrounding cog municipalities. It use to be that they looked to DC at how to do it, now lets look to them, and mark my words, there will NEVER be a third service in DC again- your career depends on that. Quit being such fucking babies and demand more ambulances and get rid of the Kenny Lyons trash once and for all. And there is no room for this imbecile firechief in DC….

        • DCTaxpayerDC

          Ron I am a DC resident and tax payer and I expect my city to have a fully staffed fire suppression department. I will not tolerate “downing” fire apparatus to staff more ambulances. That is something that pathetic management does. You need more ambulances staffed then you hire more and allow the department to grow as it should. You do not sacrifice a service that I pay for to supplement a service that has had improper management. So good job to our surrounding communities for having bad management and people like you, who have allowed that practice to continue.

  • Anonymous

    Well I say…..Let’s try 3rd Service for EMS. Everything else has failed.

  • inside looking in

    The real question is how are we using the resources that we do have? We should not be transporting toothaches, backaches, common colds, etc, etc. I’m sure there were plenty of ambulances on low level calls. Getting rid of Ellerbe is not going to change the way the system is run. I wish you people would realize that. And ambulances not being available is not a new phenomena here. Let’s be real here. If the EMS system was really run like it should be, independent from fire operations side. There would be a lot of folks out of a job. By the way who are here because we took over ambulances.

    • looking inside out

      Actually because we have so many vacancies we would probably only need to lose about 4 people. The same # of medics who resign on the next list. If we were fully staffed we wouldn’t have these problems on regular basis.

      I love how you and your buddies got jobs only to ride fire trucks and everyone after was only hired to ride the ambo. What after you guys leave no one will ride the fire side?

  • Ted

    Unless they are willing to commit fraud, no private EMS Company is going to send bills to Medicaid and Medicare for patients who clearly do not meet medical necessity requirements.

    That issue the issue with giving them the table scraps, the lowest of acuity calls are very tough to obtain reimbursement for. Why not privatize EMS transport and provide fire first response for Echo and Delta calls?

    Another option would be for engine or truck companies to handle Omega calls. It would suck, but it beats being shut-down to staff more BLS units.

  • stuart

    A few problems with turfing “non-emergent” patients to privates. First, you must have faith the dispatcher and call taker can properly triage the call and not mess up the priority. Second, while many people believe they are abusive, budget staff may recognize that those are transports that are billable. So, while it seems easy to get rid of those runs…it can make a substantial hit in city revenues which will not make it popular ( its happened places I’ve worked) with city leaders. Third, once you allow privates to begin transporting patients you open your whole system to competition. In a city strapped for cash, a poor performing department will be in a hard position trying to justify why they shouldn’t privatize the whole system.

  • stuart

    At what point does the city revisit the whole Rosenbaum case? The entire process was to get EMS up to par, but who could say that the city is doing that these days? The poor gentleman who died during the sick out, the police officer, and the proposal to take medics off rigs at night…how can anyone be satisfied with where the city is these days? Is it time to reconsider a stand alone EMS department that could have the flexibility to adapt quicker than a fire based service?

  • David S.

    I’m glad that we do not live there becouse if that happened to me they would one of the biggest law suits that they ever heard of.

  • http://pgfdnews.com PGFD PIO BRADY

    Just a small point of clarification to the headline. PGFD Ambulance 838 arrived 9 minutes after dispatch.

    • dave statter

      Is this a first? Or has this happened before? If my aging brain is serving me properly, there was once a time that the PGFD chief spokesman was under orders not to reply/comment to STATter911.com. We’ve come a long way baby.

      I guess if it was the first, I just made it the last. Thanks Mark.

      • PGFD Chief Bashoor

        And not to exasperate your chest pains Dave, a long way indeed!

        • dave statter

          And on top of the Marc & Mark show here at STATter911.com (unlike some of what I read online tonight, I know which is the real chief, but I’m not telling), I am now running video that PIO Pete shot and uploaded. Meantime the former newsman is safe and warm inside the World HQ building. The whole world has gone mad.

  • Anonymous

    “At the end of the day….the only one to blame is the vindictive, retaliatory, intimidating, behavior of a second grader, inept, incompetent person who calls himself a leader”.

    How so? This should not happen as there were so called preventative measures put in place as a result of the “task force.”

    There are Two (2) ELO’s who are to monitor the status of the EMS units, particularly while at the hospital, (one of whom is an EMS Captain), who are to not only “direct” the units to hospitals to prevent a “traffic jam” at the ER’s, but also are to monitor the drop times.

    If a unit is delayed in returning to service do to not having beds available, the ELO is responsible for contacting the ER to ascertain why there’s a delay, and if possible, intervene to speed up the process.

    Secondly, there are EMS Supervisors, (also an EMS Captain)who are supposed to monitor the EMS units and ER’s within their prospective Battalions to help speed up drop times.

    While it is commendable for that the FOP head is speaking up/expressing his concern for the well being of his members, the citizens and visitors of/to the city are equally as important. His blaming the Fire Chief for the ambulance delay was irresponsible on his part. How many times have Fire/EMS units waited on the scene for an MPD officer to show up? n fact when his “Chief” is on the news justifying “expansion of the city’s photo enforcement” program to “free up” her officers, there should be no delays , (especially if your near the IHOP on Alabama Ave. S.E.).

    “Overtime” is not the answer.

  • HOOKMAN

    Inside looking In….correct…the abuse of the 911 system has been going on long before I came on the job, however, someone who’s been part of the rank n file and who’s goal was to be a management book worm and not a fireman would realize this….However, he doesn’t look at the abuse of the EMS system as much as he’s focused on the petty small issues like who drew a mustache on his picture in the firehouse……the ego driven numbskull thought so highly of himself, that he needed to waste District Taxpayer money to frame an ungodly amount of pictures which show that ignorant IM GONNA GET YOU SUCKA look on his face…..you don’t get an amublance..so what…wait till the media gets ahold of it and then ill respond…..DRAW A FREAKEN MUSTACHE ON THE KINGS PICTURE IN THE FIREHOUSE…..oh…you’ve declared war son…..

    And you’re right….getting rid of Ellerbe for this isn’t the answer, because he SHOULD HAVE BEEN TERMINATED FOR THIS!!!!

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/oct/30/dc-arbitrator-fire-chief-guilty-of-retaliation/?page=all

  • PPFD

    Hey now, those DC ambulances were all transporting “taxpayers” with immediate life threats.

    As far as EMS not transporting. My hometown Akron, Ohio has done this for years. Once on scene if EMS determines the call is not a life threat (illness or injury) they call a private service, which is in turn staffed ALS if something happens. Akron puts out a contract every few years that privates bid on to run “non emergency” transports.

    It can be done and I don’t know why more cities don’t do it.

    I feel for you guys on the ambulance. Thankfully EMS here is run by the county.

  • RetiredChief

    Back in my day DCFD would dispatch one of the four, yes 4, Rescue Squads (a heavy rescue in the Watergate City) when an bus was not available. Anyone know why this was stopped?

    • Hoof Arted

      Because back in your day, the RS’s were not responsible for the current levels of certification required for the technical rescue disciplines.

      There is also no way to properly secure a patient in the back.

  • Anonymous

    What is an Engine or Truck going to do on an Omega Call. We don’t have the right to refuse transport, so we are just going to call them an ambulance, and wait til it shows up. Why don’t we do like Cleveland did sometime back and tell the citizens that their Omeaga or Alpha call will not be answered until we have at least 10 transport units available city wide. Right now as we do it, if you call for an alpha or omega response and no ambulaces are available we send you a paramedic engine, thus further depleting our ALS resources, at a time when no transport units are available and prehospital care at life threatning emergencies becomes more crucial. There are very few calls that response times is a critical factor, however, for the few where it is a factor, it is the most important factor. (ie cardiac arrest, no BLS in 4 minutes, no real chance at a positive outcome, and the first hose line in place at a structural fire.)

  • Oh Boy!

    How about adding more units. people keep pouring into this city adding to the population, but we have not increase the amount of units for along time. This should be a start.

  • Anonymous

    We all know what his response will be. He will never take the blame for anything, and will find a way to blame it on the firefighters some how or some way. This guy is the biggest piece of shit that ever put on a uniform an absolute discrace. PLEASE mayor Read the writing on the wall and can this asshole

  • A concerned taxpayer

    As a citizen of DC and admirer of DCFD, I’m appalled. The situation with motor officer, happened right down from my home. I think a few commonsense things should be done. First scrap the Mayor and council for failing to ensure the city is getting top notch protection. Secondly dismiss Mr. Ellerbee, third upgrade all transports to ALS, BLS would continue to be provided by supression units. Third, privatize fleet maintainance and ensure that any potential contract includes performance incentives as well as penalties. Fourth use up to a quarter of this year’s surplus to purchase more ambulances and hire more medics. Lastly seriously consider hiring more single role providers. Until these are implemented, DCFD should as stop gap measures have squadS,MPD vans, GWU emerge, Georgetown’s GERMS provide transport when a mutual aid unit cannot be on scene within 8 minutes.

  • UsetobeDC

    It’s a flawed system on many levels.

    1 Put all ALS members on ambulances(PEC’s are a waste)
    2 Put more ambulances on the street at ALL times
    3 Put in a 911 screening system that takes calls and prioritizes them adequately. Then only send a fire truck to serious emergencies. Prioritize the calls and tell low priority calls that they will have to wait.
    The FDNY seems to have figured this out best. They only dispatch an engine company for serious emergencies. Will put the Engine in service if more information from the caller indicates the call not to be so serious after all OR if the ambulance gets on the scene first.
    Leaving the Engine available more often for it’s primary purpose.

    4 A public service program to help with the abuse of the 911 system as well as better, accessible health care for residents of DC.

    But leadership is mostly what is missing and Loserbe seems to want to prove he can slash a quarter of the DCFD and still get by. So he can then eliminate the four platoon system. Go to a 3 platoon 6 day work week to hopefully chase off those who live outside of the District. Purely ridiculous as firemen will adapt and overcome anything.
    Loserbe needs to go yesterday!!

  • inside looking in

    The sky was falling 8 years ago also. So what has changed besides who is sitting at Vermont ave.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A44022-2005May7.html

  • Head Scratcher

    I’m not sure what are Public Safety Deputy Mayor Quander’s qualifications are. If we had a terrorist attack or a mass casualty incident the same time the MPD officer was struck, we would have been S.O.L!!!! Quander and the Chief just don’t get it. Even if there was an ALS unit available uptown, (let’s say Medic 31)., it is 10.7 miles and would take 32 min. on a good day and with rush hour traffic it would take approx. 53 min. They can have all the reviews, critiques, and City Council inquiries about this incident. It will not yield any good results.

  • http://phillesh bob weir

    Getting rid of PECs won’t solve anything, ALS level care should be the goal for all first response that has been deemed a true emergency (DC OUC is an embarrassment and should be replaced by actual professionally trained 911 dispatchers); however, there need to be enough medics in the system to staff all or most of the transport units as well. Hiring single-role medics (unless they are all-hazards trained and part of local 36) probably won’t help because most of the single-role providers would rather be using their seemingly unlimited sick leave than showing up for their 12 hour shifts (during which they excel at sandbagging).

  • haveyouseenmybaseball?

    UsedtobeDC nailed it. It’s all about the 3-3-3 shift. Doesn’t matter what’s happening on the street, it’ll all be forgotten tomorrow. This is why the chief and mayor still hold their spots and why the chief won’t go away until the mayor does. Even then it’s just a matter of having a mayor who thinks the same way the chief does. DC politics at its BEST!

    • DCTaxpayerDC

      If you watch the last council hearing the Chief admitted that. He is bringing the department to chaos mode, then his only solution is emergency legislation to drop a platoon and either do 3-3-3 or some variation of it. He said something like we “are nearing our capacity” of EMS usage but his “staffing plan” would help but he “cannot discuss it”.

  • groundhog day

    PEC’s work if you have enough medics for the companies and transport units. Unfortunately when you treat your employees like garbage and can go to a neighboring county and make 13-18% more and get treated respectfully for half the work.

  • HOOKMAN

    @Titanic…..you’re so correct and I apologize for lowering the numbers…..Your comment is the reason why this MPD Officer had to wait for an ambulance and why Mr Ford waited on NYE for one with no DC EMS unit being able to arrive amd transport…..FEMS King…Kendra Ellerbe won’t come close to bringing the abuse of DC’s 911 system as a systemic problem that has gone on for years and will continue until someone is bright enough to come up with a concrete EMS Prevention program….Obviously the street calls program is not deterring the frequent fliers from calling, but ita business as usual….if your a DC resident no matter if you have a boo boo or need a ride across town and will jump out the back once the ambo is at hospital….hey…slim needed a ride and ita our job to provide him the courtesy of our free taxi service…..

  • UsetobeDC

    Paramedic Engine Companies are the biggest waste of resources ever!!
    Especially in a large northeastern fire department!!

    Put enough ambulances on the street and don’t use fire companies as a stop gap measure to save money you can afford to spend.