- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The District’s fire chief has proposed a plan to redeploy the department’s emergency medical service workers into a configuration that would leave ambulances staffed with no paramedics during the overnight hours.

Chief Kenneth Ellerbe is expected to announce today the details of a plan to transfer 14 ambulances staffed with paramedics, who are trained to perform advanced procedures for more serious medical calls, from the hours between 1 a.m. and 7 a.m. to the busier time between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m.

The department would still deploy ambulances staffed by lesser trained emergency medical technicians during the overnight hours and would rely for assistance on firefighter-paramedics and supervisors who are trained as paramedics. The department has 21 paramedic engine companies, or fire engines staffed with a firefighter trained as a paramedic, and seven paramedic supervisors working in the overnight hours, Chief Ellerbe told WTTG-TV (Channel 5).

White House, GOP at odds over Senate impeachment trial
EXCLUSIVE: High-level, N.K. defector implores Trump to foment coup; tells president he's been duped
Franklin Graham calls on nation to pray for Trump as impeachment effort gains speed

“This gives us an opportunity now to look at a decades-old system and respond more readily to our community,” he said of the new plan, which is drawn from a year’s worth of data on the department’s call volume and service delivery.

The chief said the plan is not completed and that he will to talk with the community, as well as the unions that represent firefighters and civilian medical workers and the D.C. Council, which must approve the reconfiguration.

The D.C. Firefighters Union has already expressed skepticism at the plan, saying that the department has been unable to regularly keep 14 ambulances staffed with paramedics at a time. The increase in the number of ambulances running calls during the day will increase the the drain on staffing, said union president Ed Smith.

More details are expected at an afternoon news conference after the chief briefs the unions on his plan.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide