News4 has learned that a D.C. fire lieutenant placed on desk duty may have submitted retirement papers after a man collapsed outside a fire station and later died. His family claims no one inside the station would help. Mark Segraves reports.
As investigators continue to look into the death of a man near a D.C. firehouse, a woman says four years ago her son went to a fire station for help while having a heart attack but was refused.
Julie Moses, an emergency room nurse, can’t believe it happened again.
“It’s a shame that you have to sit out there and wait and wait and wait for an engine company when a licensed person is sitting back there just, who knows, doing nothing,” she said.
Her 35-year-old son Andre Rudder died outside Engine Co. No. 7 waiting for help. There was no ambulance there at the time, but Moses says records show there was an EMT on duty who turned her son away.
“He got out of his car, he knocked on the door and he said, I’m having chest pains,” Moses said. “The EMT told him, I cannot help you.”
Moses is suing the District but says she’s been told she doesn’t have much of a case because the government is protected by what’s known as the public duty doctrine, which protects the government from liability in cases like this.
Moses said even if the EMT who turned him away couldn’t transport her son, she could have at least tried to help.
Because the case is still before the courts, a spokesperson for the department would not comment.
Moses is speaking out after the death of 77-year-old Medric Mills Jan. 25 across the street from Engine Co. No. 26. That investigation is centered around three people who were on duty Saturday afternoon when Mills collapsed and died along Rhode Island Avenue.
Lt. Kellene Davis was relieved of her command of that station and reportedly submitted her retirement papers. A spokesperson for the fire department would not confirm whether she has put in to retire but did confirm she is eligible for retirement. Retiring would not protect her from disciplinary action by the department should the investigation find her at fault.