District ambulances sidelined by lengthy delays for repairs

WASHINGTON (WJLA) — When D.C. ambulances like Medic 31 respond to an emergency, a sense of urgency can make all the difference.
However, when one of the city’s ambulances has a significant mechanical flaw that has gone unfixed for weeks, it can put patience and first responders in further danger.

Documents obtained by ABC7 reveal that crew members have been documenting for months now an air hose leak that affects the brakes in the city’s Medic 31 unit, but the problem still hasn’t been fixed.

According to three inspection reports from Aug. 4, 11 and this week, crew members noted with an “X” that the ambulance had the specified leak.

Ken Lyons, the head of the Civilian Paramedics Union, works out of Medic 31. He says that this particular problem can actually delay the ambulance from leaving the station for up to two minutes since it takes time for the air pressure to build up.

Others say the delay is closer to three to five minutes.

In a log book entry from the week of July 22, a crew member wrote that “M-31 told from platoon that air hose has leak.” An entry from the week of Aug. 4 had a similar notation
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