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Home > Topics > Safety

DC police and firefighters unions outraged after ambulance wait

The unions are lashing out after an officer who was seriously injured in a hit-and-run waited for nearly 20 minutes for an ambulance

NBC Washington

WASHINGTON — The D.C. police and firefighters unions are lashing out at what they call inexcusably long response times for ambulances.

The outrage comes after a Metropolitan police officer had to wait 20 minutes for an ambulance Tuesday night after sustaining serious injuries in a hit-and-run accident. The officer was stopped on his motorcycle near 46th and A streets SE when he was struck by a white Lexus about 6:30 p.m., police said. H

"I thought he was dead, honestly, because he wasn't moving," a witness said.

Full story: Outrage After Injured DC Officer Waits 20 Minutes for Ambulance


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Eric Kuhn Eric Kuhn Thursday, March 07, 2013 11:38:24 AM Why should it matter whether it is a police officer injured or just a lowly citizen? Everyone deserves to have adequate response times. But it's a matter of how much EMS (or Police, or Fire) is the taxpayer willing (or able!) to pay for?
Lesa Gonzalez Lesa Gonzalez Thursday, March 07, 2013 2:27:14 PM DC is having a huge Paramedic shortage. Anyone in a motorcycle accident, waiting 20 minutes for an ambulance, is unacceptable. Taxpayers/district government need to get their sh*t together and properly operate the EMS system. I agree, when they were told there was no ambulance available, PD should have taken him.
Yedidya Ben-Avie Yedidya Ben-Avie Friday, March 08, 2013 9:38:27 AM There seems to be a lot of information missing from this article. If the ambulance company is out of ambulances, then there's nothing they can do about it. They can't leave one patient to go to the other one, even if that other one is a cop. The article did not say how often this occurs, only that it happened once before. It takes a lot of money and resources to have an extra unit on the road, and it might be that usually circumstances are that ti is unneeded. It might be that it is needed, but the article didn't say anything about it.
Saturday, March 09, 2013 8:18:18 AM This is not a question of who is "more important, law enforcement or civilian". This is an issue with executive leadership. DC Fire & EMS Chief Ellerbe does not have an easy job. HOWEVER, his leadership has been extremely poor, on many fronts. He has not been proactive and does not aggressively lobby for EMS-related resources. His "solutions" for handling staffing crisis' have been horrible and ineffective. He dodges responsibility and accountability for chronic problems with shortages in resources (staffing and apparatus). He is vindictive and punitive towards those who disagree with him. Those he leads have repeatedly expressed no confidence in his leadership. Morale has plummeted under his administration. He does not inspire confidence, either in himself, his leadership, or in departmental operations. Where does he decide to put a large amount of his efforts and resources? Into changing the department patch and uniform and punishing those who question and disagree with the change. As a comparison, DC Police Chief Lanier weekly appears on a popular local call-in radio show to provide information and answer questions by the hosts and callers, sometimes some pretty difficult questions. Regardless of what one thinks about her leadership, at least Chief Lanier is willing to put herself out there and the public can hear from her and there is at least some level of transparency and public awareness/accountability. Why isn't Ellerbe doing the same thing? Because he knows he'd be raked over the coals and his feet held to the fire. (continued)
Saturday, March 09, 2013 8:20:28 AM (continued from previous). The DC elected officials also do not have an easy job, attempting to manage the needs of the country's capital with the limited funding that Congress provides. HOWEVER, they should replace Ellerbe. There are so many others with proven leadership experience who would give their left eye to take his job. The elected leadership are not truly holding Ellerbe accountable for his actions and in the areas where there is a lack of action. More resources should be allocated to DC Fire & EMS. I understand that they have a limited budget to approve, but they can be doing more than they are. They can get creative. Finally, Congress has to assume some responsibility. They are the ones that approve funding allocated to DC. Yes, in these times, there is not enough funding to go around and everyone must do more with less. But to not make taking care of the basic needs of the country's capitol, the seat of our federal government... I wonder how different things would be if a member or members of congress suffered because of DC Fire & EMS' inadequate staffing and apparatus resources....
Lesa Gonzalez Lesa Gonzalez Saturday, March 09, 2013 11:17:26 AM I don't know if you have been following what is going on in DC but the politics of EMS/Fire is bad there. One article I read, the one where a man having a stroke died after waiting way too long for an ambulance said it was 30 minutes before their end of shit and 10 units had put themselves out of service.
Jeffery Longton Jeffery Longton Sunday, March 10, 2013 5:00:59 PM Lets say you're a garbage man, most likely I'm not off base, and your mom lives on your route, if she had an extra bag of garbage or some extra recycling I'm pretty sure you wouldn't charge her, but you charge anyone else. It's kind of like that, plus, he is the one protecting us. Managers are treated differently from their employees, the president gets a deal on his suits, and cops get free coffee and doughnuts. It is fact that resources are expedited when a member of EMS is in trouble, that's the it is and will always be. So pull your bleeding heart fat head out of your ass, stupid fuck.
Matthew Ervin Matthew Ervin Tuesday, March 19, 2013 11:54:14 AM They think an 8-minute response time is too long? Dang, 8 minutes is pretty quick in my opinion, especially when there was no unit available when the call was initially dispatched.
Lesa Gonzalez Lesa Gonzalez Wednesday, March 20, 2013 4:51:47 AM Ambulances are not available because they have a tremendous shortage of paramedics. It is a very screwed up system. Try to look it up on here or other EMS sites.

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