An ‘acceptable state of readiness’

March 29, 2013

D.C. Fire Chief Kenneth B. Ellerbe apologized to District residents for recent missteps, but he pushed responsibility onto rank-and-file firefighters. (Marvin Joseph/THE WASHINGTON POST)

Fire Chief Kenneth Ellerbe and Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Paul Quander spent two-and-a-half hours in front of the D.C. Council dais Thursday, answering pointed questions from Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6) and colleagues about the Fire and Emergency Medical Service department’s preparedness.

It did not go altogether smoothly, Peter Hermann and Amy Brittain report in the Post: “Ellerbe … repeatedly faltered in his answers, unable to state unequivocally that he had enough paramedics or even whether he had visited the 911 center recently. He often turned for help to [Quander,] who sat beside him at the witness table, once drawing an objection from Wells, who demanded that the chief, not his boss, speak up.” Ellerbe apologized for submitting false information about the department’s fleet reserve, but said the department maintains “an acceptable state of readiness.” The legislators appeared less than convinced. More from ExaminerWaTimesWTOPWJLA-TV and WAMU-FM.

In other news:

Behold Vincent Gray’s third budget: Affordable housing, libraries, and free Supercans (PostWBJWRC-TVLoose LipsExaminerGGWAP)

Capital funding for schools: $1.6 billion over six years (PostExaminer)

Gray proposal would raise traffic camera fines slightly (GGW)

Marion Barry: Deer-killing National Park Service is your “MOFO of the Month” (Post)

David Pinder, award-winning McKinley Tech principal, is leaving to train better principals (Post)

Hizzoner is entertaining techies in the mayoral suite at the NCAA regionals (WRC-TV)

Thomas Gore, Gray campaign figure, will be sentenced in July (PostExaminer)

What problem are food truck regulations trying to solve? The Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (Slate)

RAMW, by the by, is not pleased by Elissa Silverman’s call for paid sick days for restaurant workers (WBJ)

Silverman, meanwhile, nabs Sharon Ambrose endorsement (Post)

The D.C. Code has been “freed” (DCist)

The “Green Book” gets a new publisher (Reliable Source)

You’ll have Richard Sarles to kick around for three more years (Dr. Gridlock)

AirBNB or VRBO in D.C. at your own risk (DCist)

Police hope video will help crack downtown nightclub killing (Post)

Why WPFW activists need to chill out about leasing a studio from a corporate megalith (TheFightBack)

John Thompson helps keep struggling Boys and Girls Club open (WRC-TV)

The city’s trial lawyers will be watching this one closely (Legal Times)

The 1776 tech incubator is sooo buzzy (WBJ)

D.C.’s most beautiful room? Probably the Library of Congress reading room (All Opinions Are Local)

The monster V Street pop-up has reached the final dimensions of its monstrosity (PoPville)

Your NCAA East Regional hoopsters do not have the best grasp of go-go (Sports Bog)

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 28, 2013