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Audit Finds Poor Management of D.C. Fire Vehicles

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP)— An outside consultant has issued a scathing audit of the District of Columbia fire department’s management of its fleet of vehicles.

The audit found that the department’s fire trucks, ambulances and other vehicles are “generally in poor condition” and that the fleet management system “has been in disrepair for 15 to 20 years.”

The department paid consulting firm BDA Global $180,000 to perform the audit. Chief Kenneth Ellerbe says it “shows there is room for improvement,” but he notes that the department has purchased 30 new ambulances and has improved response times.

Councilmember Tommy Wells, who chairs the committee that oversees the department, says some of the audit’s findings are “unacceptable,” including that it takes the district 20 times longer to repair vehicles than it does in similar jurisdictions.

The District of Columbia fire department announced on Tuesday that it is hiring nine new paramedics as it continues to address a shortage that has led to slow responses to some medical emergencies.

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(TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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