Plan to Reduce Nighttime Ambulances Challenged

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The D.C. Council's Judiciary Committee rejected a proposal to shift more ambulances from overnight to daytime hours, citing public safety concerns. (Published Friday, Jun 28, 2013)

    A controversial plan to reduce the number ambulances on the streets of the District in the overnight hours is one step closer to being scrapped.

    The D.C. Council's Judiciary Committee, which overseas the Fire Department, has approved a resolution to stop the ambulance changes, News4's Jackie Bensen reported.

    If approved by the full council, the resolution would prevent ambulance changes proposed by the Mayor's office from going forward.

    Earlier this year, Fire Chief Kenneth Ellerbe proposed reducing the number of ambulances on the street during the overnight hours so more could be available during the day.

    D.C. fire officials say their ambulance redeployment plan was based on statistics: data that showed the majority of ambulance calls now occur during the business day.

    The committee report did commend the Fire Department for hiring an outside auditor to determine exactly how many ambulances, fire engines and other equipment they have.

    But there have been several high-profile response problems since then. Today, Ellerbe apologized for those issues.

    Still, one committeewoman had harsh words for Ellerbe.

    "It seems to me that he either takes immediate action to rehabilitate himself, so to speak, or he finds other work," said District Councilwoman Mary Cheh.