DC firefighter arrested while driving ambulance on suspended permit. Officer recognized him from DUI.


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Bob Barnard, WTTG-TV/Fox 5:

Two D.C. firefighters were arrested within 24 hours for traffic incidents. The arrests are yet another blow to a department already under intense scrutiny.

D.C. fire officials are not commenting about either arrest except to say both firefighters are on administrative leave.

One of the men was arrested around 4 a.m. Wednesday while on duty and driving a city ambulance — Medic 33.

DC ambulance

Sources told FOX 5 firefighter James Bunn is no stranger to the court system. He had been arrested along Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue in Southeast D.C. 15 months ago in his personal car after driving through a red light in front of Saint Elizabeth's. Bunn was charged with DUI.

Just before dawn Wednesday morning, the same arresting officer from D.C. police couldn't believe his eyes when he saw Bunn behind the wheel of an ambulance at United Medical Center in Southeast.

After stopping the ambulance, the officer's hunch was confirmed: Bunn was driving on a suspended license from that earlier DUI case and he was placed under arrest.

We stopped by Bunn's home in Southeast D.C. Wednesday afternoon, but nobody was home.

The second D.C. firefighter arrested in the past 24 hours was 37-year-old Kevin Pringle. He was picked up along Minnesota Avenue for allegedly driving a car reported stolen out of Anne Arundel County in Maryland. Pringle was wanted for allegedly failing to return a 2013 Dodge Avenger that was rented from Budget back in October.

But the U.S. Attorney's Office in the District says it has decided not to pursue charges against Pringle, citing insufficient evidence.

Still, it's been a tough time for the District's Fire and EMS department. Seven of its employees have been arrested since last summer.

Fire Chief Kenneth Ellerbe has been under fire for allowing the city's fleet of fire trucks and ambulances to fall into what one elected official calls "a critical state."