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Emergency Response Time For Injured D.C. Police Officer 'Unacceptable'

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A dispatcher had to pull an emergency response unit from neighboring Prince George's County.
A dispatcher had to pull an emergency response unit from neighboring Prince George's County.

D.C. is looking into why no ambulances were available after a District police officer was struck in a hit and run incident earlier this week.

The Metropolitan police officer was seriously injured when stopped on his motorcycle near 46th and A Street NE in the early evening, when he was struck by a Lexus, according to reports. The officer had to wait at least 20 minutes for an ambulance to come from Prince George's County, because none were available in Washington.

The incident Tuesday night is stirring debate over staffing levels and response times. The heads of the police and firefighters unions called the lack of an ambulance unacceptable and inexcusable.

"It is inexcusable that a D.C. ambulance was not available. Chief Ellerbe is accountable for ensuring emergency care and transport in D.C.," wrote police union chairman Kristopher Baumann in a statement.

Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Paul Quander said on Wednesday that he's ordering an investigation into why there were no ambulances available. Quander says 39 ambulances or paramedic units were supposed to be on streets, but a dispatcher was unable to find a free unit.

The dispatcher asked for help from Prince George's County 6 minutes after the first 9-1-1 call. It arrived 18 minutes after that first call.


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