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Home > Topics > EMS Management

DC floats shutting down fire station to increase on-duty medics

The controversial plan would increase the number of medics during peak call times by replacing fire trucks with ambulances at a neighborhood station

Washington Post

WASHINGTON D.C. — The District’s fire chief has revamped a proposal to increase the number of ambulances during peak call times, an idea that failed last year after concerns were raised that it meant service would be diminished during the overnight hours.

Chief Kenneth B. Ellerbe now wants to keep 25 ambulances and 14 advanced life support units on the streets 24 hours a day, but add six additional Medics on overlapping schedules when call volumes are the greatest — from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 1 a.m.

But to do that, Ellerbe said he has to shut down Engine 6 and Truck 4, which serve the Shaw neighborhood in a station located on New Jersey Avenue in Northwest. The station would remain open; the fire engine and truck would be replaced by ambulances and firefighters sent to other fire houses.

Read full story: D.C. fire chief proposes revising ambulance deployment, removing truck, engine in Shaw

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Dan Murphy Dan Murphy Friday, April 11, 2014 2:35:12 PM Just a band-aid. The city I work for actually takes a medic unit out of service for 8 hours from 2300 to 0700 two shifts of a cycle. They send one guy, an emtb, home and put the other, a ff/pm, 5th on a truck. Sometimes both go home if the second guy is just an emtp. I really don't think the savings out weigh the need. What do you save $130 to $400 depending. DC needs to look for cuts elsewhere to make up for the need for more medic units, not take fire apparatus out of service. I don't know if DC relies soley on tax money to fund their ems service and if so maybe they need to start billing for medic runs. Apparently the cities funding for ems is being used up by the public. Make the public pay.
Maikeul Wilhelm Maikeul Wilhelm Friday, April 11, 2014 7:29:29 PM This isn't about money. It is about staffing... there are simply not enough Paramedics to be found, hired and retained.
Michael Seneco Michael Seneco Friday, April 11, 2014 7:31:04 PM Well this is just the limit. I've spent many a shift at 6 Engine/4 Truck as a member of DC's only all volunteer company. this house is a vital and centrally located house with a very long history and tradition. Reassigning the firefighters to other stations and turning it into an all EMS station is just shuffling around apparatus.. we would loose an engine and a truck, and they would just park ambulances in the fire house... it won't add EMS units to the system and open up a primarily residential part of the city without proper fire suppression protection. This man is a lame duck Chief by all accounts, with the presumptive next Mayor of DC running on a replace the Fire Chief campaign (as all 7 candidates did)... Why is he event relevant? Hr should be updating his resume and packing his office not messing with the department.
Chuck Licata Chuck Licata Friday, April 11, 2014 7:45:23 PM When we lose a medic to the hospital due to understaffed ambulanced we bring a firefighter in on overtime to back fill the loss of manpower in the station that the medic was in until he returns from the hospital then we run heavy for 4 hours and we do this every time we lose a medic to the hospital.

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