The D.C. Council’s public safety committee voted Friday to reject a plan that would overhaul the way ambulances are deployed throughout the District.
Because of an increasing number of calls for medical emergencies, Chief Kenneth B. Ellerbe last year proposed reassigning 14 “medic units,” which are ambulances staffed by paramedics who can deliver advanced life support, from night shifts to day shifts.
Since then, the department has had several high-profile incidents that have raised concerns about response times and the quality of emergency care. Ellerbe has championed the plan as a way for the D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department to better handle heavy call volumes at peak hours, typically from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Basic life support ambulances would continue to run from 1 a.m. to 7 a.m., and some firetrucks operating during those hours would be staffed by paramedics.
Critics of the plan argued that reducing advanced life support, which includes the ability to give intravenous drugs and perform other life-saving procedures, could leave D.C. residents vulnerable in the middle of the night.