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With Closest Ambulance Across Town, Child Transported to D.C. Hospital in Fire Truck

by Mark Segraves
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LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC) — A D.C. paramedic had to transport a toddler suffering from seizures to a hospital in a fire truck Friday because the closest available ambulance was across town.

Engine 33 responded to a call for a child in distress in Southeast at around 5 p.m. The paramedic on board made the decision to transport the child to United Medical Center in the truck rather than wait for the closest ambulance, which was at Howard University Hospital in Northwest.

According to Chief Kenneth Ellerbee, the paramedic did the right thing.

“It was a good decision for the patient,” he says.

This is not the first time the department has had to answer questions about ambulance response times, but it is the first time since the addition of 30 new ambulances in January. Ellerbe says 39 ambulances are deployed each day, but that he wants to increase that number to 45.

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