“Several Ambulances Have Caught Fire” and One Ran out of Fuel while detailed to Presidential Motorcade

Photo via ‏ @rescue1dcfd

From IAFF36’s website:

“In the continuing saga of the District’s ambulance crisis, there was startling news reports: several ambulances have caught fire. A-27 (Deanwood), followed by A-07 (Waterside) a short while later. Both units have been placed out of service – reducing even further the number of units now available to serve the city. Yesterday, news agencies reported that M-01 ran out of fuel while detailed to the Presidential motorcade, the same unit has had a non-working fuel gauge since at least April of this year. Local 36 has continuously sounded the alarm, over periodic fleet maintenance, the number of units available at any given time, and staffing levels. The city is still operating at a deficit in regards to all three – even though the Department is fully funded. Mayor Gray, and Fire Chief Ellerbe have done little to fix a quickly deteriorating fleet, nor kept up with the pace of personnel departing at an alarming rate. Their preference is to cast blame back upon the same hard-working members who are “doing more, with less” more frequently. It has become clear that Chief Ellerbe is no longer capable of leading the department. It is time for the collective voice of the community to speak out, and address the mounting threat to the public’s safety.”

From a DC Government press release:

“We are aware of an incident involving a D.C. ambulance detailed to a presidential motorcade on Aug. 8. The incident already is being investigated, and corrective action will be taken. Beyond that we are not commenting further, as our policy is not to publicly disclose details on any matters involving D.C. public safety employees assigned to the president.

It is completely unacceptable for a vehicle in service to ever run out of gasoline. Every morning, our crews are instructed to refuel and ensure their vehicle has a full tank. It is important that our employees are consistent to detail while performing their duties, because the goal of our mission is to keep everyone in the District safe.

George Ogilvie of the United States Secret Service, said his agency “works closely and on a continuous basis with D.C. Fire and EMS. Any issues with equipment related to the movement on Thursday 8/8/13, were dealt with quickly and efficiently and there was no break in ambulance coverage for the motorcade.”

@rescue1dcfd, who tweeted the photo above, write:

“Third time in under two weeks that this has happened in the Nation’s Capitol”

13 Comment

  • austindc

    Yeah, but maybe people will actually get out of the way if an ambulance has flames shooting out the front of it.

  • OT, but related – does anyone know what was going on last night on Lanier Place NW? We tried our normal route home to the Argonne garage of Ontario to Lanier, but that intersection was blocked by a few fire trucks and ambulances. So we went back around and went on Columbia, intending to turn left on Quarry. But Quarry had about three fire trucks blocking the entire street. We ended up having to go the wrong way down Argonne Pl in order to get into our garage.

    Just curious as to what was going on – the DC Fire & EMS Twitter feed used to be great for this, but it isn’t anymore. (And does anyone know of an alternate source of this kind of information?)

  • Listen for the Fire Chief on Car Talk this weekend.

  • Since they send a firetruck first if you call for an ambulance do they send an ambulance first if you report a fire?

  • Yet another reason why I’m worried about how the city would respond to a true emergency or terrorist attack — we can’t even manage our own day-to-day operations. I’m pretty sure that the union has other beefs with Ellerbee, but he’s proven himself to be fairly incompetent over time and he needs to go (and so does Gray).

  • justinbc

    $400 million surplus well spent.

  • It is beyond me how Chief Ellerbe still has a job after all of the dysfunction of his tenure. The incompetence reminds me a time a few decades ago when the DC Government was a regular punchline. Combine this with the fact that half of the City Council has been sent to jail and that the mayor is under continued investigation and you have a real disgrace. Hey Adrian, we’re sorry, come back please. We wont let it happen again.

  • What are the odds of two ambulances catching fire the same day at almost the same time. Its a blatant setup. Firefighters union want the chief out and are taking extreme measures like this to make it happen.

Comments are closed.