According to a DCFEMS report, an outside agency began an audit in July of DCFEMS fleets, which include ambulances and fire trucks, as well as their maintenance functions.
And without systematic improvements, the vehicles that have been in a state of disrepair for 15-20 years will only get worse.
The fleet is currently in a critical state, says the report, with chronic long-term management, maintenance, and replacement issues. FEMS apparati routinely break down, forcing a disproportionate amount of time to be spent working on critical repairs rather than preventative maintenance.
Mechanics are also overworked and under-trained, and there is no quality control. Because these issues have been endemic over many years, keeping the FEMS fleet running has become a momentous task.
In order to break this cycle, a major investment in infrastructure, along with changes in policies and procedures will be required, the report states.
Outsourcing has also been recommended at the maintenance shop.
The rate of repairing these vehicles is nearly 20 times the industry standard. An expensive proposition of spending millions of dollars to fix the fleets would require D.C. Council to buy-in since the cost is so high.
Read the full report here.