Fallout From Washington,D.C., Fire Chief's Plan To Reduce Overnight Ambulances

6:21 PM, Nov 13, 2012   |    comments
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA) - More fallout tonight from the D.C. fire chief's plan to pull all the advanced medic units off the graveyard shift. Firefighters say the move could cost lives.

The proposal is to pull all the advanced life support, all the paramedic units, off the street between 1 and 7 in the morning.

The fire chief says there are far fewer calls during those hours.
But firefighters say it's that one call, that one heart attack, that one baby having trouble breathing, that they're worried about.

Now there would still be paramedics on the fire trucks.
And there would still be basic life support or EMT units on the street.

The civilian paramedic union thinks that might be ok.
But the union that represents firefighter paramedics thinks there are all kinds of scenarios where that would be a terrible idea.

Fire officials say they get a total of 40 to 60 medic calls between one and seven in the morning citywide.

That's far fewer than they get during the rest of the day.
And the chief says changing the shifts for those medic units will mean there are far more on the street available when they are really needed.

But the city council has to review this.
And the chief says if it doesn't work, he will change it.

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