A public safety ‘tipping point’

March 11, 2013

Chances are, a fire truck will be the first responder to a medical emergency. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

The D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services department faces a potential crisis of public confidence after a series of well-publicized incidents where ailing residents — in one case, a police officer — had to wait and wait for FEMS ambulances to arrive, if they arrived at all. As Peter Hermann writes in the Post, the department is caught in a debate over who’s responsible: Is it incompetent management and a dearth of functioning equipment? Or is it a workforce that refuses to bow to proposed management initiatives like modified shifts? Fire Chief Kenneth Ellerbe addressed the matter at a Friday news conference — or rather, his deputies did until Ellerbe was coaxed into making a statement. “We know that we are at a tipping point in terms of providing service to the community,” he said. “I’ve been saying that to the council. I’ve been saying that for almost two years. It’s time for us to make a change in the way we deliver service.” More from WaTimes, Loose Lips, Examiner, WTOP, WJLA-TV, WUSA-TV, WAMU-FM and WRC-TV.

In other news:

Eleven shot early this morning at North Capitol Street and New York Avenue (Post)

Fewer parking tickets written yet more fines collected in fiscal 2012 (Post)

Meet backwards-runner Cedric Givens, though you might have done so already (Post Magazine)

Pepco wants a $52 million rate increase from its D.C. customers (Post, WBJ)

McKinley Tech teacher arrested on child pornography charge (Crime Scene)

Ahead of South by Southwest visit, Vincent Gray talks tech; will again seek capital gains tax break (Capital Business, WBJ)

Ethics board chairman Bob Spagnoletti says he may seek more power to investigate contracting (WRC-TV)

David Catania hosts Hay Adams filet mignon confab for education leaders (Post)

Vincent Orange bill is part of national trend of getting tough on third-graders (Post)

Advocates for the poor unveil D.C. budget priorities (Capital Business, DCFPI)

Michael Brown is talking a big game, fundraising-wise (Loose Lips)

D.C. United makes a big push to improve RFK attendance (Post)

Why the city’s future involves less parking (Post op-ed)

In case you haven’t noticed, using Metro on weekends is a real hassle (Post)

Latest draft of vending rules creates special food-truck zones (Post)

City says lots of vendors aren’t collecting sales taxes (Examiner)

Surprise: The most desirable DCPS schools are in wards 1, 2, 3 and 6 (GGW)

Superior Court saw a record-low caseload in 2012 (Legal Times)

Can Busboys bring Takoma and Takoma Park together? (The Root DC)

Corcoran board could use a fresh perspective (Post editorial)

Sharon Baskerville: “There’s a way to make money and give people the care that MCOs are paid to give people” (WBJ)

Marion Barry wants city to pick up residents’ community college tuition (Examiner)

Young D.C. residents learn about the law and life at the courthouse (Post)

Dwayne Antonio Bryant, 22, is shot to death on Good Hope Road SE (Crime Scene)

Woman found dead in Rock Creek Park near Massachusetts Avenue NW (Crime Scene)

Saturday night police chase ends in Kingman Park (Post, WRC-TV)

EastBanc finalizes deal to buy Georgetown post office (Examiner)

Why it’s an insanely bad idea to locate FBI headquarters in a Metro inaccessible location (Housing Complex, WBJ)

Department of Corrections is the city’s most-giving agency (Examiner)

DCPS gets serious about recruitment (Informer)

The Wizards moved their TV announcers to sell a million dollars’ worth of courtside tickets (D.C. Sports Bog)

How to improve the shadow delegation (NUDCS)

Voter registration forms now officially list the Libertarian Party (DCist)

Bocce is so hot right now (WTOP)

Did a rider’s burp set off an Uber driver? (City Desk)

The Skins are cursed (Post column)

Hoya. Saxa. (Post)

Mike DeBonis covers local politics and government for The Washington Post. He also writes a blog and a political analysis column that runs on Fridays.
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Mike DeBonis · March 8, 2013