District of Columbia Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department

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District of Columbia Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department
DistrictofColumbiaFireandEMSLogo.png
Operational area
Country  United States
City  Washington, D.C.
Agency overview[1]
Established September 24, 1804 (1804-09-24)
Annual calls ~150,000
Employees 2,130 (2013)
Annual budget $199,373,728 (2013)
Staffing Career
Fire chief Gregory M. Dean
EMS level ALS and BLS
IAFF 36
Facilities and equipment[2]
Battalions 6
Stations 33
Engines 33
Tillers 15
Platforms 1
Rescues 3
Ambulances 14 ALS and 25 BLS
HAZMAT 2
Wildland 1
Fireboats 2
Light and air 1
Website
Official website
IAFF website

The District of Columbia Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department, (also known as DC FEMS, FEMS, DCFD, DC Fire, or Fire & EMS), established July 1, 1884,[3] provides fire protection and emergency medical service to the city of Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States. An organ of the devolved district government, Fire & EMS is responsible for providing fire suppression, ambulance service and hazardous materials containment for the federal district.[4]

History[edit]

A DCFD fire engine in December 2005.
DCFD Engine Company #23 (Foggy Bottom Firehouse)
DCFD Engine 7

On January 13, 1803, Washington passed its first law about fire control, requiring the owner of each building in the city to provide at least one leather firefighting bucket per story or pay a $1 fine per missing bucket.[5]

The first firefighting organizations in the city were private volunteer companies. To end the problems created by rivalries between these companies, Washington approved in 1864 an act to consolidate them and organize a paid fire department.[5] Seven years passed before it was implemented on September 23, 1871, creating the all-professional District of Columbia Fire Department with a combination of paid and volunteer staff.[3] The department had seven paid firefighters and 13 call men to answer alarms, manning three engines and two ladders.

By 1900, the DCFD had grown to 14 engine, four ladder, and two chemical companies.[3]

In 1968, the entire DCFD was mobilized during the riots that followed the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. The four days of disorder saw widespread civil unrest, looting and arson, which ultimately required help with 70 outside companies to battle over 500 fires and perform 120 rescues.[6]

In the 1970s and 1980s, the department was riven by racial tension as the nearly all-white department became much more racially integrated and African American firefighters sought upper-level supervisory and management positions.[7]

2010s budget and maintenance problems[edit]

In January 2010, The Washington Examiner reported that, in a major management failure, the agency failed to budget for seniority pay in its fiscal 2010 budget, causing a $2 million shortfall.[8] After a hiring freeze left 130 positions unfilled, the department was projected to spend $15.4 million in fiscal 2010 (2.5 times the budgeted amount).[8] More than 75 percent of the agency's budget goes to salaries and fringe benefits.[8]

Problems with vehicle maintenance also worsened after 2010. The department lost track of the location of reserve vehicles, and sometimes listed fire engines as available for duty when they had been stripped for parts and sent to the junkyard. In 2012, the agency hired a consultant at a cost of $182,000 to create an accurate database of vehicle status and location. Both the D.C. City Council and the District of Columbia's inspector general have strongly criticized the department's record. The District of Columbia Firefighters Association, Local 36, IAFF, argues that the problem lies with poor management, while DCFEMS has said the problems either cannot be accounted for or are the result of rank-and-file incompetence or neglect.[9]

In July 2013, more than 60 DCFEMS ambulances were out of commission due to maintenance issues, and the department was forced to hire a private ambulance service to provide staffing at a Major League Baseball game. On August 8, 2013, a DCFEMS ambulance ran out of fuel while part of President Barack Obama's motorcade, and ended up stranded on the South Lawn of the White House. (EMS personnel said they reported a broken fuel gauge months ago, while DCFEMS said workers failed to fill the vehicle with gasoline.) On August 13, 2013, two DCFEMS ambulances caught fire—one while delivering a patient to MedStar Washington Hospital Center, the other while responding to an emergency call at an apartment building on Benning Road SE. (Another ambulance was dispatched to take the patient to the hospital.)[9]

In June 2015, Jullette M. Saussy was named the medical director of DC Fire and EMS.[10] On January 29, 2016, she announced her resignation from that position in a letter to Mayor Muriel Bowser. In her letter, she called the department's culture "highly toxic to the delivery of any semblance of quality pre-hospital medical care."[11]

Stations and apparatus[edit]

Engine 10 and Truck 13's quarters in Trinidad.

As of June 2015, these are the DCFD's stations and equipment.[2][12]

Neighborhood Engine Truck Squad EMS Special Command Battalion
1 Dupont Circle Engine 1 Truck 2 Ambulance 1
Medic 1
Twin Agent Unit 2 6 [13]
2 Penn Quarter Engine 2 Squad 1 Medic 2 Mass Casualty Unit EMS 6, Battalion 6 6 [14]
3 Judiciary Square Engine 3 Ambulance 3 Water Supply Engine 52 2 [15]
4 Pleasant Plains Engine 4 Ambulance 4 Air Unit 1 Special Operations Battalion
Safety Battalion
4 [16]
5 Georgetown Engine 5 Medic 5 Rehab Unit, Canteen 1 5 [17]
6 Shaw Engine 6 Truck 4 Ambulance 6 1 [18]
7 Navy Yard Engine 7 Medic 7 Brush Unit 1 2 [19]
8 Barney Circle Engine 8 Medic 8 Air Unit 2 EMS 2, Battalion 2 2 [20]
9 Adams Morgan Engine 9 Truck 9 Ambulance 9 4 [21]
10 Trinidad Engine 10 Truck 13 Ambulance 10 1 [22]
11 Columbia Heights Engine 11 Truck 6 Ambulance 11 Water Supply 54 EMS 4, Battalion 4 4 [23]
12 Eckington Engine 12 Ambulance 12 HazMat EMS 1, Battalion 1 1 [24]
13 Mount Vernon Square Engine 13 Truck 10 Ambulance 13 6 [25]
14 Michigan Park Engine 14 Ambulance 14
Medic 14
1 [26]
15 Anacostia Engine 15 Squad 3 Ambulance 15
Medic 15
EMS 3, Battalion 3 3 [27]
16 Downtown Engine 16 Tower 3 Ambulance 16 EMS Battalion
Operations Deputy
6 [28]
17 Brookland Engine 17 Medic 17 1 [29]
18 Capitol Hill Engine 18 Truck 7 Ambulance 18 2 [30]
19 Penn Branch Engine 19 Medic 19, Ambulance 19 3 [31]
20 Tenleytown Engine 20 Truck 12 Ambulance 20 EMS 5, Battalion 5 5 [32]
21 Adams Morgan Engine 21 Medic 21 Water Supply Engine 55 5 [33]
22 Brightwood Engine 22 Truck 11 Ambulance 22 4 [34]
23 Foggy Bottom Engine 23 Ambulance 23 6 [35]
24 Brightwood Park Engine 24 Squad 2 Medic 24 North Mass Causality Unit 4 [36]
25 Congress Heights Engine 25 Ambulance 25 Mass Decon 3 [37]
26 Brentwood Engine 26 Truck 15 Ambulance 26 1 [38]
27 Eastland Gardens Engine 27 Ambulance 27
Medic 27
2 [39]
28 Cleveland Park Engine 28 Truck 14 Ambulance 28 5 [40]
29 Berkley Engine 29 Truck 5 Ambulance 29 5 [41]
30 Capitol View Engine 30 Truck 17 Ambulance 30
Medic 30
2 [42]
31 Chevy Chase Engine 31 Medic 31 5 [43]
32 Garfield Heights Engine 32 Truck 16 Ambulance 32 3 [44]
33 Bellevue Engine 33 Truck 8 Ambulance 33
Medic 33
South Mass Casualty Unit 3 [45]
Southwest Waterfront Fire Boat 1
Fire Boat 2
6 [46]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "FY 2014 Proposed Budget and Financial Plan - Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department" (PDF). Office of the Chief Financial Officer. Chief Financial Officer. Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Apparatus". District of Columbia Fire Department. Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c "FEMS History". About FEMS. DC FEMS. p. 2. Retrieved 2009-09-09. 
  4. ^ "About FEMS". DC FEMS. Retrieved 2009-09-09. 
  5. ^ a b "FEMS History". About FEMS. DC FEMS. p. 1. Retrieved 2009-09-09. 
  6. ^ "FEMS History". About FEMS. DC FEMS. p. 3. Retrieved 2009-09-09. 
  7. ^ Hsu, Spencer S. "Black D.C. Firefighters File Lawsuit." Washington Post. October 16, 2010.
  8. ^ a b c Neibauer, Michael. "D.C. Fire Running Millions Over Budget." The Washington Examiner. January 21, 2010.
  9. ^ a b Hermann, Peter. "Two D.C. Ambulances Catch Fire While On Call." Washington Post. August 13, 2013. Accessed 2013-08-13.
  10. ^ "Audit finds D.C. fire officials failed to implement overhauls after 2006 death". 
  11. ^ "Jullette Saussy Resignation Letter". Retrieved 2016-02-09. 
  12. ^ "Fire and EMS Locations". DC Fire & EMS. Retrieved 15 June 2015. 
  13. ^ "Engine House 1". DC Fire and EMS Department. Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  14. ^ "Engine House 2". DC Fire and EMS Department. Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  15. ^ "Engine House 3". DC Fire and EMS Department. Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  16. ^ "Engine House 4". DC Fire and EMS Department. Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  17. ^ "Engine House 5". DC Fire and EMS Department. Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  18. ^ "Engine House 6". DC Fire and EMS Department. Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  19. ^ "Engine House 7". DC Fire and EMS Department. Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  20. ^ "Engine House 8". DC Fire and EMS Department. Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  21. ^ "Engine House 9". DC Fire and EMS Department. Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  22. ^ "Engine House 10". DC Fire and EMS Department. Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  23. ^ "Engine House 11". DC Fire and EMS Department. Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  24. ^ "Engine House 12". DC Fire and EMS Department. Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  25. ^ "Engine House 13". DC Fire and EMS Department. Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  26. ^ "Engine House 14". DC Fire and EMS Department. Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  27. ^ "Engine House 15". DC Fire and EMS Department. Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  28. ^ "Engine House 16". DC Fire and EMS Department. Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  29. ^ "Engine House 17". DC Fire and EMS Department. Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  30. ^ "Engine House 18". DC Fire and EMS Department. Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  31. ^ "Engine House 19". DC Fire and EMS Department. Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  32. ^ "Engine House 20". DC Fire and EMS Department. Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  33. ^ "Engine House 21". DC Fire and EMS Department. Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  34. ^ "Engine House 22". DC Fire and EMS Department. Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  35. ^ "Engine House 23". DC Fire and EMS Department. Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  36. ^ "Engine House 24". DC Fire and EMS Department. Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  37. ^ "Engine House 25". DC Fire and EMS Department. Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  38. ^ "Engine House 26". DC Fire and EMS Department. Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  39. ^ "Engine House 27". DC Fire and EMS Department. Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  40. ^ "Engine House 28". DC Fire and EMS Department. Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  41. ^ "Engine House 29". DC Fire and EMS Department. Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  42. ^ "Engine House 30". DC Fire and EMS Department. Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  43. ^ "Engine House 31". DC Fire and EMS Department. Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  44. ^ "Engine House 32". DC Fire and EMS Department. Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  45. ^ "Engine House 33". DC Fire and EMS Department. Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  46. ^ "Fire Boat". DC Fire and EMS Department. Retrieved 14 June 2015. 

External links[edit]