Councilman vows to hold D.C. Fire/EMS accountable for improvements

WASHINGTON — The controversy around D.C. Fire and EMS following the public resignation of its medical director is a storm that has died down but has not blown over.

The department is on deadline to produce a timeline of changes to the City Council.

Her resignation letter to Mayor Muriel Bowser was described as scathing. Dr. Juliette Saussy’s testimony in front of the judicial committee and chair Kenyan McDuffie got specific, highlighting a lack of baseline medical training she says needs assessment.

“I asked the [Fire Chief Gregory Dean] about baseline assessments. I asked him to come back to the council with a hard deadline as to when the assessments will be performed, how they’ll be performed and, ultimately a time frame for implementing the training,” McDuffie said.

Dean has said hiring American Medical Response as a third-party ambulance service will provide the opportunity to  update training and improve accountability in the system by sticking to shift breaks.

When asked whether the chief is overcommitting the change that will come from bringing on AMR, McDuffie responded that it’s not a permanent fix.

“We don’t want to have a third-party contractor in place forever. so we want to have some clearly measurable benchmarks so we can see the progress happening. We’re going to hold the chief accountable. He wants to be held accountable,” he said.

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