WASHINGTON (AP) – A new fire chief has been named in the nation’s capital, where the fire department has been struggling to meet the demands of a growing population and rapidly increasing number of emergency calls.
Interesting way to put that. DC FEMS, as a former chief insisted on rebranding it, has been struggling to provide even barely acceptable levels of service for about the past 20 years. It just goes from bad to worse. At one time the tenure of the Medical Director was measured with a stop watch, not a calendar.
I could fill about a year’s worth of blog posts just listing the problems that EMS in the nations capitol has had.
The new chief comes from Seattle, where he was the fire chief for 10 years. So, he is going from one of the best fire based EMS systems in the country, to what is hands down the worst.
Dean, whose appointment requires confirmation by the D.C. Council, would replace Eugene Jones, who last year took over as interim chief.
Jones replaced Fire Chief Kenneth Ellerbe, whose tenure was marked by complaints of poor service by firefighters and medical personnel that endangered lives.
As bad as Ellerbe reportedly was, there is plenty of blame to go around. No one who has tried to fix the multitude of problems with EMS in DC has had even a little bit of luck. Until the D.C. Council and Mayor commit to fixing the underlying, structural problems with the fire department, no one is going to have even a little bit of luck.
The article says that originally Dean planned to stay in the Seattle area after retiring. I’d guess that the other Washington offered him a really good package or he’s just a glutton for punishment or likes a challenge.
Well, he’s got the challenge of a life time fixing a department that is terminally broken.
It will be interesting to see how long he lasts and how much he succeeds.