Firefighters Call for Ellerbe's Resignation
3/25/2013, 11:49 a.m.
Following a recent delay dispatching an ambulance to an injured District police officer, Fire Chief Ken Ellerbe has come under attack, with at least three firefighters calling for his termination.
Two of the three firefighters requested anonymity for fear of retaliation. But all three admit they've butted heads with, and have been unfairly disciplined by Ellerbe, according to a WJLA report.
"I think he should be terminated," firefighter Robert Alvarado, a constant critic of Ellerbe, said in an interview. "The apparatus fleet is in complete disarray. . . "If we had another terrorist attack on the District of Columbia, we are not prepared to handle it."
In the case of the injured police officer, nearly 20 minutes passed before an ambulance arrived. Because none were available from D.C., the officer was assisted by a Prince George's County unit. That action launched an investigation in Ellerbe's department. However, the report resulting report placed much of the blame on rank-and-file personnel rather than the fire chief.
"We know that we are at a tipping point in terms of providing service to the community," Ellerbe said in an earlier interview. He has also stated publically, that money and lives could be saved if he could transition firefighter shifts from 24 to 12 hours, and redeploy overnight ambulances to busier call times.