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Nine New Paramedics Start Work As D.C. Struggles To Address Shortages

Nine newly-hired paramedics will begin work with D.C. Fire and EMS today. The paramedics were hired in an effort to address a shortage that has led to slow responses in some medical emergencies.

This is the second time in recent months that the D.C. fire department has hired single-purpose paramedics to address an ongoing shortage in the city. In recent months, the department has come under scrutiny for responding slowly or not having paramedics available to treat patients, including a D.C. police officer who was injured on the job.

Still, the new hires still won't change the number of paramedics on the street at any given time. D.C. still deploys less than half the paramedics used by urban departments with similar call volumes.

They also won't relieve the stress on the dual-role firefighter-paramedics who are usually the first responders to medical emergencies. The new paramedics are not trained as firefighters and can only ride on ambulances, though they will be given the option of training to work on fire trucks.

But Paul Quander, the city's deputy mayor for public safety, says they are filling what he called an "immediate need."

On top of addressing the shortage of paramedics, the D.C. fire department has also struggled with an aging fleet of fire trucks and ambulances. A report commissioned by the city and released last week concluded that the city's 369 vehicles are in  overall poor condition.

NPR

'Booker Dozen' Stirs In A Hefty Batch Of American Authors

Thirteen novels are in the hunt for the Man Booker Prize, the U.K.'s biggest literary award. The Booker is open to Americans for only the second year, and this year's list pits rookies against titans.
WAMU 88.5

The Democracy Of The Diner

Whether the decor is faux '50s silver and neon or authentic greasy spoon, diners are classic Americana, down to the familiar menu items. Rich, poor, black, white--all rub shoulders in the vinyl booths and at formica counters. We explore the enduring appeal and nostalgia of the diner.

WAMU 88.5

D.C. Council Member David Grosso

D.C. Council Member and Chair of the Committee on Education David Grosso joins us to discuss local public policy issues, including the challenges facing D.C. Public Schools.

NPR

Windows 10 Rolls Out, Along With Concern Over Sharing Wi-Fi Passwords

The new operating system includes user-friendly features, such as a personal assistant named Cortana. But its Wi-Fi Sense feature has sparked security concerns.

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