An unconscious 90-year-old was loaded into the cab of an engine and rushed to a nearby hospital after a dispatched ambulance never arrived.
D.C. Fire and EMS first blamed the wait on a dispatch foul-up before putting the blame on an unidentified Fire and EMS personnel.
At 2:17 p.m., the 911 dispatch center sent Engine 30 and Medic 21 to the 3700 block of D Street in Southeast D.C.
The 90-year-old woman who lives there was feeling faint but was conscious and alert.
According to sources familiar with the call, the paramedic on board stayed with the woman as they waited and waited and waited before a dispatcher asked for an update.
“Paramedic Engine 30, I am still showing you at 3735 D Street, Southeast,” she said.
The officer on the engine replied, “That’s affirmative. We are waiting for the ambulance.”
And that wait went on from 2:17 p.m. until 2:56 p.m. when the officer radioed in to say the patient’s condition had worsened.
“Engine 30 to communications, he said. “Patient is unconscious at this time. We are loading her into the engine and taking her to the hospital 16.”
“It’s just a serial calamity as far as the fire department goes,” said mayoral candidate David Catania. “Why the fire department under the current fire chief and mayor haven’t been able to prioritize and get the organization in order is beyond me.”
In addition to Catania, Muriel Bowser, also a candidate for mayor, weighed in on the subject as well.
“Well, we have a level of failed leadership in the department, and poor morale has me very concerned about that,” she said. “I’m not as familiar with this issue, but I will find out more about it today.”
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