Baby Dies in D.C.; Nearest Ambulance Was 7 Miles Away

The death of an infant rushed from Southeast Washington on Friday has District officials investigating the cause of the baby's death and why the nearest available ambulance was seven miles away.

A 5-month-old boy named Trequan died, a woman who identified herself as his aunt told News4. She said the infant had asthma and had lived inside a sweltering apartment. The last time she saw him, he wasn't breathing, she said.

Dispatchers received a call about 3 p.m. for a child having a critical medical emergency on the 4600 block of Hillside Road SE. The Office of Unified Communications, which handles 911 calls, dispatched paramedics from Engine 30, Truck 17 -- about a mile and a half away -- within two minutes, D.C. Fire and EMS said in a statement.

Paramedics arrived within four minutes and worked to save the baby's life, the D.C. fire department said. At the time, the first ambulance dispatched was about seven miles away. OUC requested an ambulance from neighboring Prince George's County, but none were available, the fire department said.

The paramedics rushed the baby to Children's National Medical Center and were met within 15 minutes of the original 911 call by a D.C. ambulance. The infant was in critical condition when he arrived at the hospital, the fire department said.

The baby boy did not survive.

D.C. police and Child and Family Services Agency officials examined the home Thursday evening. Police described the case as an undetermined death investigation.

The child's devastated aunt said the baby's father was home when the infant stopped breathing.

"His father loved his kids," she said. "He was always with them, every day."

The D.C. fire department said it is investigating its response to the emergency. "FEMS is reviewing the call to ensure the highest quality service was delivered," a statement said.

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