DC fire and EMS changes policy to address medic shortage
Chief Ellerbe is seeking 25 single role paramedics, and so far has received between 125 and 130 applications
WASHINGTON — The D.C. Fire Department and EMS is changing a long-standing policy to address a shortage in paramedics. Until recently, the policy was to hire paramedics who are also firefighters, but now the Department is hiring employees who just want to be paramedics.
“This is something that’s been embraced by the Council, by the mayor, by the fire chief himself,” says Dabney Hudson, vice president of the D.C. Firefighters Union. “I think ultimately this is going to do a disservice to our ability to respond to calls.”
According to Chief Ellerbe’s office, he is seeking 25 single role paramedics, and so far has received between 125 and 130 applications. The Ambulance Union, which represents paramedics and EMTs who don’t work on fire trucks, embraces the change.