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DC Fire and EMS considering Uber for low-priority patients

Taxi services and Uber drivers could be used to transport 911 callers as early as 2017


WASHINGTON — In response to the growing volume of 911 calls, D.C. Fire and EMS Department officials are now examining whether private taxi services or Uber drivers could be used to transport callers with low-priority requests.

“We are working with the health department to find other ways to transport people, such as using a contract taxi cab or Uber,” said Chief Gregory Dean. “We are trying to find creative ways to try to reduce the strain on the system.”

Chief Dean told NBC Washington on Monday that the department is also currently considering adding nurses to 911 call centers to evaluate medical needs, and using vehicles other than ambulances to transport people to the doctor’s office.

Dean said he plans to have recommendations from a task force by October for implementation in early 2017.

The DC Fire and EMS partnership with AMR, initiated in late March, was another effort made to reduce response times and alleviate the strain of responding to low-acuity 911 calls for DC Fire and EMS paramedics.