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Councilmember Mary Cheh Calls For Fire Chief's Resignation

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Fire Chief Kenneth Ellerbe's leadership has been the subject of criticism from Councilmember Mary Cheh.
Jared Angle
Fire Chief Kenneth Ellerbe's leadership has been the subject of criticism from Councilmember Mary Cheh.

D.C. Councilmember Mary Cheh is calling on Fire Chief Kenneth Ellerbe to step down amid questions about the department's ability to handle medical calls.

Cheh said in a letter that "the agency's ability to respond to emergencies has been significantly degraded'' and that Ellerbe "no longer has the confidence of the people of the District.''

The letter was sent Tuesday to Councilmember Tommy Wells, who chairs the committee that oversees the fire department. Last week, Wells rejected a proposal by Ellerbe to deploy more ambulances during the day and reduce the number available during the overnight hours.

In early March, an injured police officer had to wait 15 minutes for an ambulance from neighboring Prince George's County, Md. The incident highlighted the strain on the department's ambulance fleet.

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