The District of Columbia Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department (DCFEMS) has selected BDA Global to perform an audit that will examine the department’s current fleet capacity and management practices. BDA Global assembled a team of fire department performance improvement specialists that includes the SPC/TriData consulting company and fleet consulting company Mercury Associates, Inc. Both firms have recently collaborated on similar projects that were successful in San Antonio and Vancouver, BC.

“The department looks forward to the assistance, resources and experience being provided by BDA Global to help us become more efficient and responsive in our fleet operations,” said DCFEMS Chief Kenneth Ellerbe in a release. “The audit will contribute to establishing a new baseline for frontline emergency vehicle readiness and capacity.”

The consultants will complete the review by mid-September.

News of this selection follows extensive media coverage highlighting concern about the availability of emergency vehicles, including recent news from the Washington Times that the DCFMES had to send vehicles to other agencies for repairs and outsource some coverage of special events to private ambulance companies. The news source reported that fleet technicians couldn't keep up with repairs after numerous air conditioning unit failures during a heat wave.

Public officials and other district agencies have also expressed concern about the fleet. A June report from the DC Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety recommended the DC Council disapprove the DCFEMS redeployment plan; the committee claims, among other things, that the department is operating on incorrect information about its fleet. Additionally, a report conducted by the Office of the Inspector General dated March 21 recommended changes to improve the repair and readiness of reserve vehicles.