83°Mostly Cloudy

The Petitions Have Started: “Mayor Bowser: Respond to the D.C. emergency!”

by Prince Of Petworth February 11, 2016 at 9:45 am 31 Comments

ems emergency
Photo by PoPville flickr user Miki J.

From Avaaz:

“A medical director of DC emergency medical services just released a scathing resignation saying “people are dying needlessly because we’re moving too slow”. There are obvious solutions – but internal politics are holding up reform.

To DC Mayor Muriel Bowser:

We call on you to enact bold reform to address the egregious state of Washington D.C.’s Emergency Medical Service. EMS should operate independently from the fire department, and both the fire department and EMS should have all the resources they need to respond excellently to the city’s calls for help.

Sign and share the urgent petition with everyone.”

  • GBinCH

    Oooh, a petition….this will be as effective as community meetings are at dealing with surging crime.
    I don’t expect anything to change until she’s voted out of office.

    • Dan

      I agree, GbinCH.

    • KenyonDweller

      I disagree. This is one of the rare instances when a petition just might make a difference. She’s sensitive to public opinion, and if enough people sign, it will add to the pressure for her to do something meaningful.

    • Jo

      This is solvable with a little political will, in a way that “crime” is not. So pressure to create that political will may in fact be effective.

  • MtP

    I didn’t read the resignation letter as “we need more resources.” I read it as, “everyone who works here, at all levels, is clearly unqualified and should be fired immediately.” Throwing more “resources” at them wouldn’t matter, unless it’s more human resources to back-fill a wholesale termination fest.

    • jcm

      Apparently, what she wanted to do is to split Fire and EMS into separate departments. That would require more resources since the firemen who are currently responding to medical emergencies in between fires would need to be replaced by paramedics.

  • Philippe Lecheval

    This kind of gross incompetence is exhibit number one for the case against DC statehood. It’ll never happen. At least not anytime soon.

    • jcm

      People posting garbage like this is exhibit number one in the case for democracy. There’s too many idiots to entrust them with the vote.

      • Philippe Lecheval

        When a jurisdiction is proven to be fundamentally incapable of providing basic services for its citizens, the federal government has to step in. To the anti-statehood crowd, situations like this are just fuel for the fire. DC is a laughingstock to the rest of the country in so many ways. I’m all for voting representation, but I think we get what we deserve.

        • eva

          Sounds like we should look into stripping statehood from Michigan. I hear the USVI are decently governed, maybe we can transfer it to them.

        • jcm

          Yeah, I’m not sure you really are “all for voting representation”. I base that on the fact that you just said we don’t deserve what most people consider to be a fundamental right. You appear to be of more of an imperialist bent.
          And really, who gives a shit if DC is “a laughingstock to the country in so many ways”? I find Trump voters and tea partiers to be laughable. I think they still should be allowed to vote, though, dumb as they are.

          • Philippe Lecheval

            And I think you have a basic misunderstanding of the issue at hand.

          • Accountering

            Alas, I think it is you that has a fundamental misunderstanding of the issues at hand. Democracy is not (or should not) relate to your competency, or skin color, or gender, or anything except your citizenship. Citizen of America, you get to vote. That’s it. To say I should not be allowed to vote, nor be represented in my country, solely because my city has (and continues) to make poor decisions at the ballot box speaks extremely poorly of you as a person.

          • Accountering

            35% of New Hampshire republicans just picked Donald Trump. He is much more of a disaster than Muriel Bowser – should we take away New Hampshire’s representation as well?

          • Philippe Lecheval

            Nobody questioned your right to vote. If you are a citizen of the District, you can go to your polling place on election day, and vote. The fact that you and apparently many others do not seem to understand that they have the right to vote, is perhaps as facepalm-worthy as anything in this thread.

          • alpinepaq

            Philippe – You’re not winning this. Accountering couldn’t be more right: are you proposing a competency test for the right to self-govern? We’ve tried such tricks before in America when it came to voting, check the logs, it wasn’t moral/great.
            Also, you’re missing another obvious point: yes, we can vote. But…for what? President? Yes. A Senator and Congressperson with voting rights?… Want to go ahead and answer that one for the rest of us?

      • Kevin

        You’re right, jcm. Every time something comes up about DC that is bad some moron like Philippe Lecheval suggests that is why we don’t deserve the same level of democracy as other Americans.

        It’s a poorly formed argument by people who are obviously incapable of taking to its logical conclusion – that there must be some kind of local government competency litmus test in order for the people there to have and keep their democratic rights.

        So when other cities or states fail to deliver a service effectively are we going strip them of their democratic representation?

        • Philippe Lecheval

          You’re calling me a moron? I have nothing to do with the longstanding culture of dysfunction, corruption and outright cognitive ineptitude that pervades much of our local government. Let me guess: you’re part of the problem.

        • See, I didn’t read this as Philippe arguing that we didn’t deserve statehood…I read it as a comment that those who might have the power to determine DC statehood status (aka the fools on the Hill) would use this dysfunction as a reason not to grant this status.

    • AMDCer

      Government competence doesn’t seem to be a requirement for statehood these days. After all, Michigan is a state.

      • Jeff


      • Thomas

        That’s just because it would be too much trouble to take it from them.

    • The OP Anon

      Maybe the problems in DC stem from the fact that we don’t have statehood or representatives in Congress since the late 1700s? It’s a chicken-egg dilemma. I still don’t see DC’s dysfunction as a reason to deny it’s residents a few of the most basic features of democracy. Otherwise let’s strip Michigan, Illinois, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana of statehood.

    • madmonk28


  • The OP Anon

    Jullette Saussy – the EMS chief who resigned – is on the Kojo show today on WAMU. Should be a very interesting discussion!

    • Anon

      FYI – the Kojo show is at noon, and you can stream it from the WAMU site. Should be a great [infuriating] listen.

    • Kathryn-DC

      Thanks for the heads up

    • JonHein

      Very short discussion. It was only 15 minutes not nearly enough time to dig deep into the issue. Kojo didn’t let her answer the callers questions. It’s public radio nothing stopping him from extending the interview. He didn’t seem to be interested her explanation and got all of his facts wrong. Get it together KoJo. I know you are a DC legend but you could have done more.

  • anon

    As someone who moved to DC 10 years ago, it has always been my impression that DC officials actually seem to take pride in this sort of dysfunction. It shouldn’t be that hard to change – just have a team look at best practices for proper administration of emergency medical services elsewhere, and copy them. (Lack of funds to do this sort of thing doesn’t seem to be the problem.) But DC seems to operate instead on a sort of cronyism that keeps incompetent people in high positions, and everybody pats everybody else on the back for the great jobs (not) that they are doing. Why DC residents tolerate this is a bit of mystery to me. Perhaps they are all either too busy doing their very important jobs to take part, or too busy just trying to survive, depending on where on the (divided) economic spectrum they fall.

    • Anon

      Hey now – these spreadsheets ain’t spreading themselves now, innit?

    • jcm

      Sorry, but you’re completely off-base. The chief of the fire department is not some longtime DC flunky getting promoted out of party loyalty. He was chief of the well-respected Seattle fire department. He was focused on EMS there and the cardiac arrest survival rate went way up during his tenure to do improved response times and quality of care.
      Maybe he’s the wrong guy for the job here, or maybe the problems in DC are too entrenched, or maybe he’s making progress and things just aren’t going fast enough for Dr. Saussy’s liking. Whatever the truth, your comment just has zero applicability here.


Subscribe to our mailing list