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.
(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.”