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D.C. Officials Investigating Ambulance Response Times

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D.C. leaders say they are looking into ambulance response times in the city, reports the Associated Press. The issue came to light earlier this week when a police officer was hurt in an accident in the District, but no D.C. ambulances were available to respond.

The officer was hurt in a hit-and-run Tuesday night. Prince George's County rescue crews ended up responding to the call. Deputy Mayor Paul Quander says the D.C. Fire Department usually has 39 transport units available, but when the emergency call came in, 10 ambulances were out of service.

Quander says some units may have gone out of service "inappropriately," and adds he is working to "identify any issues and make improvements." The department says it'll now ensure that reserve vehicles are available if an ambulance is out of service.

Fire officials also defend the decision to transport a stroke patient in a fire truck yesterday. They say the fire truck was used because it was the best option for transport. Council member Tommy Wells says that incident appears unconnected to any ambulance shortage.

Firefighter union president Ed Smith says the department needs more personnel and equipment.

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