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D.C. Fire Chief In Hot Seat Over Emergency Responses

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By Natalie Neumann

The D.C. Council is pushing the District's Fire and EMS Chief for answers in the case of a two-year-old girl who died after first responders did not immediately transport her to the hospital.

Chief Dennis Rubin told a council committee he was shocked and saddened by the news of the two year old's death.

"I have devoted almost all of my time to investigating and reviewing this Department's actions," he says.

The case has prompted an unprecedented criminal investigation by D.C. police. Rubin says first responders did not follow protocols, failing to file mandatory patient care report.

D.C. Council member Phil Mendelson says neglecting to fill out patient care reports may be a more widespread problem than Rubin thinks.

"And it's only getting discovered when there's a very serious and tragic incident that comes to light," he says.

Mendelson suggested that supervisors should verify reports are filed by first responders after emergency responses.

Despite the ongoing investigation, Rubin tried to reassure residents of the district that they are safe.

"The emergency medical services system in the District of Columbia is not broke and does not suffer from a lack of sound judgment and responsible actions by the vast majority of our employees," says Rubin.

Rubin says the department is revising its policy for cases in which the patient is not taken to the hospital.


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