The District of Columbia has purchased 30 new ambulances for D.C. Fire & Emergency Medical Services (FEMS). The District has received two vehicles so far and the rest will be delivered by the end of the year, according to District Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s office. The Mayor’s office also said District officials expect weekly deliveries of the new ambulances through the end of September. In October, Horton Emergency Vehicles will provide another 17 new ambulances through area distributor Fesco Sales, according to the District.
D.C. Mayor Gray said these new deliveries are part of his One City Action Plan. The Mayor’s office said FEMS will have a total of $24 million in capital funds to purchase new ambulances and fire apparatus from FY-2014 through FY-2016.
These new purchases come in the wake of a controversy over the state of D.C.’s aging FEMS fleet. The fleet has been investigated in recent months for its emergency vehicle availability and response times. On Aug. 13, two of FEMS’ ambulances caught fire, resulting in criticism from the D.C. Fire Fighters Association Local 36.
In addition to purchasing new vehicles, the Mayor’s office stated that 60 firefighter recruits/cadets are in training and will be in service by the end of the year, and that FEMs recently hired nine more paramedics.