Nearly a third of all District firefighters scheduled to work New Year’s Eve called in sick, leaving the city short-staffed in emergency care on one of the busiest nights of the year.
“We had to scramble,” said Paul A. Quander Jr., D.C.’s deputy mayor overseeing public safety. He confirmed reports that firefighters took a stabbing victim to a hospital on the back of a firetruck.
Quander said some of the city’s 39 basic life- and advanced life-support vehicles sat idle in fire stations because there wasn’t enough personnel to staff them. The firefighters’ absences were first reported Thursday by WTTG (Channel 5).
Prince George’s County sent help on two calls — an accident with people trapped and a person suffering a heart attack, both in Southeast. The heart attack victim died.
Two high-ranking City Hall officials said D.C. that paramedics eventually showed up for the heart-attack call but that the patient was already dead. The officials described the heart attack as massive and said there was little chance at reviving the person. Response times were not available.