D.C. Ambulance on White House Call Runs Out of Gas

Wednesday, Aug 14, 2013  |  Updated 7:19 PM EDT
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D.C. Ambulance on White House Call Runs Out of Gas

NBCWashington.com

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An ambulance was taken out of service while on a run to the White House because it ran out of gas, according to D.C. Fire and EMS.

The Washington Times reported the ambulance was left behind on the South Lawn when a motorcade left Thursday.

D.C. fire department spokesman Tim Wilson said Monday that the first-due medical responder to the White House ran out of gas, but another unit replaced it. He could not confirm whether the ambulance was on motorcade duty.

"It's a national embarrassment for this department," Dabney Hudson with D.C.'s Firefighter Association told News4. "It's embarrassing. It shouldn't happen. Whether it's the president or citizen or visitor to the District of Columbia, they deserve better."

Wilson said an internal investigation is being conducted to determine whether the vehicle was properly fueled, but he said he does not know of any previously reported fuel gauge problem.

Chief Kenneth Ellerbe told News4 there's no good reason for a unit to run out of gas and a call goes out each morning reminding to top off the tanks.

News4's I-Team spoke exclusively with Ellerbe Tuesday regarding the incident.

"I'll tell you the president is always safe in Washington, D.C.and that's the extent of any comments I would make about that," Ellerbe said.

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.”

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