McDuffie Releases Statement on the Status of DCFEMS

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For Immediate Release: February 17, 2016

Contact: Dionne Calhoun, 202-297-0152,

Washington, DC – Today, Councilmember Kenyan R. McDuffie (D-Ward 5), Chairperson of the Committee on Judiciary released the following statement on the status of the District of Columbia Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department (DCFEMS) at the Committee on Judiciary performance oversight hearing:

“Today’s hearing focused on emergency medical services (EMS) delivery. I was deeply troubled by the allegations detailed in Dr. Jullette Saussy’s resignation letter. Seven months ago, Dr. Saussey was hired in an effort to reform the system that has been plagued for years. The four page letter outlines a number of claims that, if true are unacceptable. Among the more disturbing allegations expressed in the letter is Dr. Saussy’s claim that “people are dying needlessly because we are moving too slow and that there is a lack of accountability at all levels within the Department.”

The Committee on Judiciary is tasked with providing rigorous oversight for the Department. There is zero margin for error when it comes to the work of the Department. Moreover, EMS training must be a priority aggressively pursued by the Department now and in the future.

I will continue rigorous oversight of policy reforms within the Department. We must ensure that District residents and visitors have the highest quality of emergency medical services and that the public’s confidence in the Department is restored. This is a matter of life and death.”




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