Families Testify Against D.C. Fire and EMS

Family members and loved ones of four individuals whose deaths are being blamed on the D.C. Fire Department testified in front of the D.C. Council Monday afternoon.

The public oversight hearing surrounded the deaths of Medric Mills and Jose Perez.

Mills went into cardiac arrest in a shopping center parking lot along Rhode Island Avenue NE last month. A 911 call was placed by someone working in a nearby business while several people went across the street to the Engine House 26 fire station.

"These bludgeons by the D.C. Fire Department have been going on for years," Medric Mills' son testified. "They've proven they are unable to address their shortcomings internally."

Five firefighters and four 911 call center employees were recommended for disciplinary action following Mills' death. 

Perez allegedly refused treatment outside a fire station when he was injured. Perez later died, and now, two D.C. EMTs are facing disciplinary action for not notifying a supervisor that Perez refused treatment. 

"There appeared to be apathy," Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice Paul Quander said. "There appeared to be total disregard for human life. There appeared to be a laissez faire sort of attitude which is unacceptable. It's embarassing."

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