Fire Chief's plan voted down unanimously by DC Council - Dallas News |

Fire Chief's plan voted down unanimously by DC Council

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The D.C. City Council voted down the D.C. Fire Chief’s ambulance re-deployment plan.

In a unanimous vote, all 13 council members rejected a plan that would have shifted resources from the middle of the night to peak demand times during the day.

There was very little mystery in this vote. Tommy Wells, the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, had previously said he knew of no one on the council who supported it.

There was not even any discussion on the plan; instead, all 13 council members voted it down.

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray and Fire Chief Kenneth Ellerbe wanted to increase the number of ambulances responding to emergency calls during peak times of the day.

That idea that was generally met with approval.

But the way they wanted to do it, by taking ambulances off the street after midnight, was roundly criticized.

After investigating the plan for several months, Wells concluded in a highly critical report, that the fire department did not have the resources or the staffing to carry out the plan and he recommended to the full council they vote against it.

Wells told the chief and the mayor if you want to add ambulances, fine, but you can't take any of them away.

Now Wells has introduced emergency legislation that sends what he views as a clear message to the chief.

"I just want to make it clear to them in the legislation, you can add any time, you have a hundred and sixty five vacancies, you haven't spent all of the money for your vehicles, there is nothing preventing you from adding staff during peak times, just don't take it away," said Wells.

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