The D.C. Firefighters Association says a significant amount of ambulances in the city fleet remain without air conditioning in the midst of a record-breaking heat wave.
Now they are being joined in their efforts to fix the situation by the professional association National Nurses United. In a letter on Friday to Mayor Vincent C. Gray, the groups urged the mayor the city’s ambulances are in working order and have operational air conditioners.
“Last week, seven of the city’s Fire and Emergency Medical Service Department 25 basic life support ambulances — or 28 percent — were out of service,” the letter says. “Many ambulances suffered from dysfunctional air-conditioning systems. One ambulance without a working air-conditioner was ordered back in service by a deputy chief even though a Department of Health inspector ordered it off the road after finding the patients’ compartment was 107 degrees.”
The letter was signed by Brad Burton, mid-atlantic regional director of National Nurses United; Margaret Shanks, president of the DC Nurses Association; and Edward Smith, President of the D.C. Fire Fighters Association Local 36.
In a press release issued Friday, Mr. Smith details which ambulances are out of service:
As of 1700 hours on 9 June 2011, the following units remain without air-conditioning:
Ambulance 01: 2225 M Street NW
Ambulance 13: 450 6th Street SW
Ambulance 15: 2101 14th Street SE
Basic 19: 2813 Pennsylvania Ave SE
Ambulance 25: 3203 M.L. King Ave SE
Ambulance 27: 4201 Minnesota Ave NE
Medic 27: 4201 Minnesota Ave NE
Basic 30: No. 50 49th Street NE
Medic 31: 4930 Connecticut Ave NW
In addition to the units listed above Ambulance 22 had their air-conditioning fixed having gone several days without the ability to cool the patient compartment. Medic 8 has been out of service for 68 hours with mechanical problems and has been replaced with a Chevrolet Tahoe, as the department no longer has any reserve transport units!