A record number of low-priority 911 calls in Washington, D.C., and a deteriorating fleet have taxed the city's emergency response capabilities, according to NBC Washington.
The 56,000 calls this year have placed such a burden on D.C. that at times it has required additonal ambulances from neighboring jurisdictions.
In March, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser promised that the city would deploy 49 ambulances to cover 911 calls during peak hours. However, the city has only been able to deploy 39 during peak hours of late.
The city had met its goal during the early months after the mayor's announcment, but the high number of calls have run the ambulances ragged, according to a city official. To better meet the high level of demand, the city plans to add 46 new ambulances to its fleet in the next fiscal year.
In the mean time, the city is spending millions of dollars to repair their current rigs as quickly as possible in order to have a consistent deployment of 49 ambulances, said City Administrator Rashad Young.