DC considering Uber in place of ambulances for some patients

WASHINGTON (AP) — Washington’s fire chief says the department is considering ways to use taxicabs or Uber to transport people who need to go to a doctor’s office, not a hospital.

Chief Gregory Dean told WTOP’s television news partner NBC Washington on Monday that he’s looking at “creative ways to try to reduce the strain on the system,” including using Uber or taxicabs.

The District of Columbia’s fire and EMS department is one of the nation’s busiest. Firefighters and paramedics can be burdened by non-emergency calls from residents who just need to see a doctor but can’t get to one. This year, the city started using private ambulances to handle some calls.

Dean says he’s also considering adding nurses to the 911 call center to evaluate patients’ medical needs. A task force will make recommendations by October.

WTOP contributed to this report.

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