Report Raises Questions About D.C. Fire Readiness

By BEN NUCKOLS | March 25, 2013

A new report from the District of Columbia’s inspector general raises further questions about whether the fire department has enough trucks to respond to major emergencies.

The report found that numerous trucks designated as reserves by the department were unavailable. The district’s firefighters’ union pointed out similar problems after a D.C. Council hearing last month. It noted that four of the trucks fire officials said were available in reserve had either been sold or were inoperable. The department is required to have a dozen reserve trucks as part of changes implemented after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Fire Chief Kenneth Ellerbe has acknowledged that he unintentionally gave inaccurate information to the council.

Ellerbe said in a statement Friday that he’s in the process of purchasing new trucks and ambulances.

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