UPDATED: Woman wants to know why DC firefighters didn’t walk across street from firehouse to help dying father


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Click here for Monday’s report from WTTG-TV/Fox 5


In his reports this evening (Tuesday), reporter Paul Wagner says the focus of the investigation is a rookie firefighter and a lieutenant assigned to Truck 15. The five firefighters on the ladder truck, according to Wagner, were the only fire or EMS personnel in the station at the time of the incident.

Deputy Mayor Paul Quander told Wagner that the investigation indicates the rookie relayed the information about the emergency to a senior person and they are trying to determine what action that person took to deal with the situation.

A separate investigation is ongoing trying to determine why the Office of Unified Communications (OUC – DC’s 911 Center) sent the initial call to the 1300 block of Rhode Island Avenue, Northwest instead of the correct address, the 1300 block of Rhode Island Avenue, Northeast.


Paul Wagner, WTTG-TV/Fox 5:

A man collapses right across the street from a D.C. firehouse, but no one comes to help. It happened Saturday afternoon in Northeast D.C. when Medric “Cecil” Mills Jr., 77, suffered a massive heart attack in a shopping center parking lot. He later died.

The man’s daughter, Marie Mills, says several people ran to Engine 26 for help, but their desperate pleas went unanswered.

DC Medric Mills

“When it’s a cardiac case, seconds matter and they didn’t help my dad,” Mills said.

She was still in disbelief when we spoke with her outside the family home in Northeast D.C. Monday.

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Late Saturday afternoon, Mills says she was running errands with her father when he collapsed in a shopping center parking lot in the 1300 block of Rhode Island Avenue, NE. Mills said they could see a firefighter standing in the open doorway of the firehouse, but he wasn’t moving.

DC Engome 26 Truck 15

“I mean everybody was screaming and hollering at him across the street,” said Mills. “Why [couldn’t] he come? It’s not making sense and I think it was three separate people who went across to the fire station.”

Several people called 911, but at Engine 26, Mills says this is what they were told.

“He said something about his lieutenant and some type of authorization, and that he could not come and to recall dispatch and advise them that they needed to send somebody, and that the condition of the patient could be getting worse,” she said, “When I saw my dad was having shallow breaths, I ran to the curb and started screaming for him to come and help my father.”

And it only gets worse. Two sources familiar with the investigation say when an ambulance and engine were dispatched from another location, they were sent to the wrong quadrant of the city.

Mills said tearfully, “That’s why my daddy lay on that ground.”

Medric “Cecil” Mills Jr. was a lifelong D.C. resident. At 77 years old, he was still working for parks and recreation.

“That’s how much he loved Department of Parks and Recreation and his city,” Marie Mills said, “and he died in the city that didn’t do anything to help him.”

Mills says she talked to Fire Chief Kenneth Ellerbe on the phone and he promised an investigation.