Investigation finds 3 ambulances could have responded to injured DC officer

All three ambulances reported to be out of service at the time of the hit-and-run that seriously injured the officer


WASHINGTON — An investigation regarding a D.C. officer having to wait at least 20 minutes for an ambulance after being injured in a hit-and-run has revealed that two ambulances should have been able to respond, but did not.

Sean Hickman was badly injured after he was reportedly intentionally hit by a man in a car in early March, according to My Fox DC.

The initial findings from the investigation said that one ambulance was close to the scene but didn't respond even though the medics were told to monitor the radio.

That ambulance apparently went out of service for equipment trouble about 10 minutes before the hit-and-run occurred.

When the initial call came in, an engine with a paramedic was dispatched to the scene while another ambulance was trying to be reached.

Sources familiar with the investigation say a second crew was at a nearby hospital and was also told to monitor their radio. That crew was also out of service about two minutes before the initial call.

A third ambulance crew went out of service for over 50 minutes, starting about 10 minutes before the call. The crew says they had accidentally entered the wrong information into the rig's computer and put themselves out of service.

"It was a computer error,” says Union President Ed Smith. “They lost them in the system. Once the employees realized there was a problem, they self-reported the problem and then they were dispatched on another run.”

Smith says the firefighters realized their mistake when they heard a call for service over the radio that should have been given to them.

"They heard a run coming out that they thought they would be responsible to take and that's when they realized there was a problem and self-reported to dispatch," said Smith.

My Fox DC reports that there were 39 ambulances on duty the night of the incident, with nine out of service; the investigation found that six of the transports were legitimately out of service with mechanical problems.

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