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DC’s Department of Fire & Emergency Medical Services (FEMS) has been criticized for slow response times. But in August, Chief Kenneth Ellerbe announced that his organization hired 20 new paramedics and will have 30 new ambulances by the end of the year.

Of those 30 ambulances, the first six will be refurbished to allow for quicker delivery. The following ambulances will all be new, and the department will first receive seven and then the final 17.

Hiring of paramedics is critical to FEMS since 80% of their work is medical emergencies. But it has been difficult for two reasons. Firstly, there is a shortage of paramedics across the country. And secondly, until April of this year, DC law prevented hiring those who were not also firefighters.

But…

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