Two D.C. emergency medical technician firefighters were reassigned for failing to diagnose a gunshot wound to a patient they had treated and transported to a hospital Saturday night, D.C. Fire and Emergency Services officials said.
Timothy Wilson, an agency spokesman, confirmed that two employees were reassigned to duties away from patient care following a preliminary investigation into an incident this weekend.
The reassignments were reported initially by Fox 5.
In the incident on Saturday night, multiple fire department units responded to the 200 block of L Street SW for the report of a shooting at about 10 p.m., authorities said. Two EMT firefighters located one person with a gunshot wound and transported that patient.
However, they also found and examined a second patient whom they believed was high on PCP, and took that patient to the hospital. Hospital staff treating the second patient detected at least one gunshot wound.
“Our initial investigation has determined that the patient exam conducted by our personnel was not sufficient. The members have been reassigned for additional training,” Wilson said in a released statement.
It was not immediately clear how the department learned of the missed diagnosis. The matter remains under investigation, officials said.
Chief Gregory Dean has said that improving staff training remains the highest priority for eliminating issues that have put others at risk in recent high-profile incidents.
“There was a breakdown in upholding our standard in this incident; we must be diligent and thorough,” Wilson’s statement said. “The first leg in achieving and maintaining our standard of patient care starts with training.”
Ed Smith, president of the firefighters union, could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday night.