D.C. Fire outsources ambulances for Monday night events

WASHINGTON (WJLA) - D.C. Fire and EMS, the agency that has been maligned repeatedly recently for the upkeep of its ambulance fleet, outsourced emergency transport units Monday from a private company for District events.

The department announced late Monday afternoon that the city had reached an agreement with Life Star Ambulance, a company based in far southern Virginia, to provide ambulances for use at both Nationals Park and the Verizon Center.

Officials say the short-term agreement had Life Star supply four ambulances for Monday night's Washington Nationals game and another for a concert featuring The Eagles at the Verizon Center.

"It was the logical thing to do and we used the resources that we had and so the system is working well I at the park last night,” says D.C. Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Paul Quander.

Quander says the average D.C. ambulance is 6 to 8 years old. And under constant use, more than a few have broken down.

The city has brought in extra mechanics to try to keep them running. While some newer units are coming online, there aren't enough units.

City officials say at this point, it's an experiment with the private ambulances.

The plan is to keep them for at least the next two weeks and then reassess whether the program is working or if they’re needed.