- Sen. Tom Coburn vows to slow down budget-busting bills ahead of recess
- Obama fantasizes about more executive power, signs new order on federal contractors
- Clintons call Klein, Halper, Kessler ‘a Hat Trick of despicable actors’: report
- Boehner accuses Obama of ‘legacy of lawlessness’
- Pro-marijuana group claims responsibility for Brooklyn Bridge flag swap
- Young adults shun Obamacare mostly due to cost: survey
- Stabbing attack on transgender girl, 15, was ‘bias motivated,’ police say
- LGBT adults still lean overwhelmingly toward Democratic Party
- Lawmakers rattled by Syria genocide horrors, call on Obama to act
- 3 African leaders cancel trip to U.S. over Ebola outbreak; Obama still plans summit
D.C. Council to investigate emergency response failures in wake of man’s death
Question of the Day
D.C. public safety officials will be asked Monday to account for several high-profile failures of the city’s emergency response system, including the death of a man who collapsed across the street from a fire station and was refused aid.
The Monday hearing, led by D.C. Council member Tommy Wells, comes on the heels of the release of a report that puts the blame for the latest failed response on both the trained medical personnel inside the fire station who did not come to the aid of the man as well as on emergency dispatchers, who after receiving calls about the incident sent responders to an address in the wrong quadrant of the city.
The 13-page report issued Friday by Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice Paul A. Quander Jr. states there were “substantial lapses in judgment and the failure to adhere to established policy and procedures” and highlights the step-by-step mistakes that led to the failed response.
It also states that five D.C. firefighters and four emergency dispatchers could face discipline over the poor handling of the incident.
Mr. Quander is expected to testify at the hearing before Mr. Wells, Ward 6 Democrat and candidate for mayor, as are the family members of four people who say their loved ones died after receiving botched care from D.C. emergency responders.
In the latest case, Medric Cecil Mills Jr., 77, died last month of a heart attack after collapsing at a shopping center across the street from Engine 26 in Northeast in an incident that drew national headlines. Bystanders and family members ran across the street begging for help at the fire station, but ultimately none of the five firefighters stationed there came to Mills‘ aid.
“All five employees were aware of a medical issue in which assistance was requested; however, none took any action to provide assistance,” the report states.
A probationary firefighter, who had been on the job less than a year, was the first to talk to a civilian who reported Mills was injured across the street, according to the report. He requested twice over a public address system that the station’s lieutenant come to the watch desk for an “urgent matter.” Three other firefighters in the station heard the requests. One questioned the probationary firefighter about what was going on, but said the lieutenant would have to be informed. That firefighter went to the lieutenant’s bunkroom and told her about the incident, but then went to his own bunk to study for a promotional exam.
It was later found that the speakers in the room where the lieutenant was had been turned off, in violation of department protocol.
The lieutenant later came to look for the firefighter who informed her of the incident, and he told her an ambulance had since been dispatched to the scene.
None of the five firefighters at Engine 26 provided aide to Mills.
“That’s beyond apathy, that’s something more,” Mr. Quander said of the lack of action, acknowledging the problem was beyond a disregard for department policy.
“This has nothing to do with policy or procedure. This is individuals who knew there was a need to act and chose to do nothing,” he said.
When asked how the department should handle others who might be lacking the character needed for the job, Mr. Quander said, “We can identify who those individuals are and make sure they no longer work for the District of Columbia government.”
The five firefighters involved will face trial boards to determine discipline, which could include dismissal.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Andrea Noble is a crime and public safety reporter for The Washington Times. She can be reached at email@example.com.
- GSA picks 3 sites as finalists for new FBI headquarters
- Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Computer glitch caused odd Saturday release of D.C. guns ruling
- Federal judge rules D.C. ban on handguns in public is unconstitutional
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By Ted Cruz
Israel saves its enemies; Hamas endangers its friends
- Inside the Ring: Israel surprised by Hamas tunnel network
- GOP leaders delay border bill, leave Obama in control
- Army's 3-D printed bombs to create 'a whole new universe' of lethal capabilities
- CIA admits improperly hacking Senate computers in search of Bush-era information
- Chicken pox outbreak puts illegal immigrant facility on lockdown
- CRUZ: A tale of two hospitals: One in Israel, one in Gaza
- Report: 40% of weapons sent to Afghanistan are unaccounted for
- U.S. troops told not to eat, drink in front of Muslims during Ramadan
- Catholic League slams Obama: 'Do Christian lives mean so little to you?'
- Israel surprised by Hamas tunnel network
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world