Baby Rushed to Hospital in Washington D.C. Fire Apparatus

An infant in cardiac arrest was taken to a hospital in a fire truck Monday because the nearest ambulance was 12 minutes away, multiple D.C. Fire and EMS sources say.

Fire Chief Gregory Dean said the baby was conscious and breathing upon arrival at a hospital 22 minutes after dispatch.

The 911 call was received at 5:25 p.m. Monday. A fire truck arrived on the scene, on Florida Avenue NE, four minutes later. Another fire truck and an EMS supervisor arrived three minutes later and the decision was made to rush the infant to the hospital themselves. The ambulance arrived another five minutes later — 12 minutes after the 911 call.

A 5-month-old boy named Trequan died Friday after he stopped breathing and was initially treated by paramedics when the nearest ambulance was seven miles away, as News4 reported. There was no indication the transportation of the infant was a factor in his death, officials said.

The head of the D.C. firefighters union and city officials said that 911 abuse — people calling for an ambulance when one isn’t needed — contributes to a shortage of available ambulances. Also, D.C. still isn’t fully deploying its ambulances. Six months ago, the mayor promised 49 ambulances on duty during peak times, but on Thursday and Friday, about 10 fewer ambulances were in service.

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