WASHINGTON — Three District of Columbia fire department ambulances could have transported a seriously injured police officer who had to wait 15 minutes for an ambulance from Prince George’s County, Md., city officials said in a report that placed the blame for the delay on individual employees.
The three ambulances were improperly listed as out of service when the officer was struck on the evening of March 5, according to the report issued Thursday by Paul Quander, the district’s deputy mayor for public safety. All were within 4 miles of the scene.
The officer was on a motor scooter when he was struck by a hit-and-run driver and faces a long recovery, police have said.
The response to the injured officer has fueled debate about whether the fire department has adequate resources to handle the call volume in the growing city. Fire Chief Kenneth Ellerbe is trying to get approval to deploy more emergency medical technicians during the day when the department is busiest.
But Quander said Thursday that human error was more at fault in the case of the injured officer.