Code of the District of Columbia

§ 5–401. Area of service; division of District into fire companies; pre-hospital care and services; approval required for major changes in manner of fire protection.

(a) The Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department (“Department”) shall provide fire prevention and fire protection within the geographical boundaries of the District of Columbia. The District shall be divided into such fire companies, and other units as the Council of the District of Columbia may from time to time direct. Major changes in the manner the Department provides fire protection and fire prevention shall be approved by act of the Council.

(b)(1) The Department shall provide pre-hospital medical care and transport within the geographical boundaries of the District of Columbia. Major changes in the manner the Department provides emergency medical services shall be approved by act of the Council.

(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1) of this subsection, the Department may contract with third parties to provide supplemental pre-hospital medical care and transportation to persons requiring Basic Life Support.

(3) A contract entered into pursuant to paragraph (2) of this subsection shall include a provision that precludes the District from liability for any claims arising out of the actions of the third-party contractor and also provides full indemnification to ensure that the District shall not be responsible for any amounts owed to others as a result of the third-party contractor's action or inaction under the contract.

(b-1) The Department shall establish a community cardiopulmonary resuscitation program to conduct cardiopulmonary resuscitation training and emergency medical application training for District residents and employees within the following District facilities:

(1) District of Columbia Public Schools;

(2) District of Columbia Public Charter Schools;

(3) District of Columbia Department of Parks and Recreation facilities; and

(4) Any other District of Columbia government buildings.

(c) Repealed.

(d) Each third-party contractor that enters into a contract pursuant to subsection (b)(2) of this section shall provide a biannual report to the Department and to the Council that includes the following information:

(1) The number of transports performed;

(2) The average time between the dispatch of the third-party contractor by the Department and the third-party contractor's arrival to the patient;

(3) The location where the third-party contractor meets each patient and the name and location of the healthcare facility to which the patient is transported;

(4) The average transport time from the location where the third-party contractor meets each patient to the healthcare facility to which the patient is transported;

(5) The average time that the third-party contractor remains out of service after transporting a patient to a healthcare facility;

(6) The average time that the third-party contractor remains out of service while waiting to transfer the care of a patient to a healthcare facility;

(7) The number of third-party contractor ambulances available on a daily basis for Department use;

(8) The length of the third-party contractor's personnel shifts;

(9) The number of employees hired by the third-party contractor and their residency;

(10) The number of patients who used the third-party contractor's services twice or more times during the reporting period, including the number of times the patient used the services during the previous 12 months;

(11) The number of patient care reports collected, including the number reviewed with the Department; and

(12) For each day of the reporting period, the number of minutes during the third-party contractor's period of service that none of the third-party contractor's ambulances were available.

(e) Within 4 months after the date of a contract awarded pursuant to subsection (b)(2) of this section, and biannual thereafter, the Department shall submit a report to the Council that includes the following information:

(1) Activity by the Department to educate the public on the proper use of emergency requests for service;

(2) The number of Department employees hired after a contract award and their residency;

(3) An evaluation of pre-hospital medical care and transportation fees considering the reasonableness of the fees, the public interest, and the persons required to pay the fee;

(4) The number of ambulances added to the Department's frontline and reserve fleet after the date of a contract award, including whether these ambulances are replacing or supplementing the current fleet;

(5) The number of emergency medical services personnel training hours provided, including all pediatric training conducted pursuant to a memorandum of understanding between the Department and the pediatric training entity;

(6) The average time that the Department's ambulances remained out of service while waiting to transfer the care of a patient to a healthcare facility; and

(7) The number of patients who used the Department's transport service twice or more during the reporting period, including the number of times the patient used transport services during the previous 12 months.

(f) Within 4 months after the date of a contract award pursuant to subsection (b)(2) of this section, and biannual thereafter, the Office of Unified Communications shall submit a report to the Council that includes the following information:

(1) The number of calls dispatched, and the average dispatch time;

(2) The average time within which the Department and the third-party contractor's ambulances reported arriving at a healthcare facility with a patient and returning to service;

(3) The protocol to reroute non-emergency calls; and

(4) The average time between the on-scene arrival of the third-party contractor's ambulance to the time the third-party contractor is at the patient's side.

(g) Within one year after the date of a contract award pursuant to subsection (b)(2) of this section, and annually thereafter, until the Department is no longer contracting with a third-party contractor pursuant to subsection (b)(2) of this section, the Department shall submit a report to the Council that evaluates performance under the contract and includes the following information:

(1) The impact on the Department's unit availability;

(2) The impact on the Department's fleet, including the ability to conduct preventative maintenance and the number of operational and reserve units available;

(3) The impact on the Department's training schedule;

(4) The impact on the Department's response times and quality of patient care;

(5) An assessment of the number of units, the number of personnel, the amount of training, and associated costs required to provide pre-hospital medical care and transportation without the use of third parties; and

(6) Recommendations for implementing any additional units, personnel, and training identified in paragraph (5) of this subsection.

(h) For the purposes of this section, the term:

(1) "Basic Life Support" means a level of medical care provided by pre-hospital emergency medical services at the basic emergency response technician level and in accordance with the national scope of practice for a basic level provider.

(2) "Patient care report" means a paper or electronic document that details the patient's pre-hospital status and condition and medication administered by a member of the Department or third-party contractor, from the time of the emergency call to the handover of the patient to a healthcare facility.


(June 20, 1906, 34 Stat. 314, ch. 3443, § 1; Apr. 7, 1977, D.C. Law 1-111,§ 2, 23 DCR 9384; Apr. 15, 2008, D.C. Law 17-147, § 2(a), 55 DCR 2558; Mar. 25, 2009, D.C. Law 17-353, § 232, 56 DCR 1117; Sept. 20, 2012, D.C. Law 19-168, § 6012(a), 59 DCR 8025; Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-171, § 38, 59 DCR 6190; Oct. 8, 2016, D.C. Law 21-160, §§ 3072(a), 3143, 63 DCR 10775; Apr. 7, 2017, D.C. Law 21-254, § 301(a), 64 DCR 2028; Oct. 30, 2018, D.C. Law 22-168, § 3062, 65 DCR 9388.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 4-301.

1973 Ed., § 4-401.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 5-401.01, § 7-2341.03, § 7-2341.07, and § 7-2341.23.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 17-147 designated the existing text as subsec. (a); in subsec. (a), substituted “Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department (’Department’)” for “Fire Department”; and added subsec. (b).

D.C. Law 17-353 validated a previously made technical correction in subsec. (a); and, in subsec. (b), deleted “Fire and Emergency Medical Services” preceding “Department”.

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-168 added (c).

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-171 made a technical amendment to D.C. Law 17-147, § 2(a)(2), that did not change the text of this section.

Cross References

District of Columbia Residential, Commercial, and Institutional Structures Fire Protection Study Commission, see § 3-1101 et seq.

District of Columbia, territorial area, see § 1-101.

Expiration of Law

Section 3063 of D.C. Law 22-168 amended section 3073 of D.C. Law 21-160 proving that section 3072(a)(2)(C) and (3) of D.C. Law 21-160 shall expire on September 30, 2021.

Section 3073 of D.C. Law 21-160 provided that section 3072(a)(2)(C) and (3) of D.C. Law 21-160 shall expire on September 30, 2019.

Applicability

Section 6033 of D.C. Law 22-168 repealed § 501(a) of D.C. Law 21-254. Therefore the changes made to this section by D.C. Law 21-254 have been implemented.

Section 501(e) of D.C. Law 21-254 provided that the changes made to this section by D.C. Law 21-254 shall apply on the date the requirements of § 8-151.08a have been met.

Applicability of D.C. Law 21-254: § 501 of D.C. Law 21-254 provided that the creation of this section by § 301(a) of D.C. Law 21-254 is subject to the inclusion of the law’s fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan. Therefore that amendment has not been implemented.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 3062 of Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-458, Oct. 3, 2018, 65 DCR 11212).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 3062 of Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-434, July 30, 2018, 65 DCR 8200).

For temporary change in the Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department to allow it to rotate the closing of no more than 8 companies on a daily basis, see § 202 of the Fiscal Year 1996 Budget Support Emergency Act of 1996 (D.C. Act 11-264, April 26, 1996, 43 DCR 2412).

For temporary (90-day) implementation of management reforms involving safety equipment and personnel, see § 1012 of the Service Improvement and Fiscal Year 2000 Budget Support Emergency Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-110, July 28, 1999, 46 DCR 6320).

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 3002 of Fiscal Year 2010 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2009 (D.C. Act 18-187, August 26, 2009, 56 DCR 7374).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2 of the Fire and Emergency Medical Services Major Changes Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-150, August 5, 2013, 60 DCR 11817, 20 DCSTAT 2002).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2 of the Emergency Medical Services Contract Authority Emergency Amendment Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-154, Oct. 16, 2015, 62 DCR 13701).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2 of the Emergency Medical Services Contract Authority Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2016 (D.C. Act 21-282, Jan. 27, 2016, 63 DCR 1181).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 2 of the Fire and Emergency Medical Services Major Changes Temporary Amendment Act of 2013 (D.C. Law 20-42, Dec. 21, 2013, 60 DCR 14716).

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 2 of the Emergency Medical Services Contract Authority Temporary Amendment Act of 2015 (D.C. Law 21-55, Jan. 30, 2016, 62 DCR 15597).

Editor's Notes

Relocation of Engine Company No. 3: Pursuant to Resolution 5-407, the “Relocation of Engine Company No. 3 Resolution of 1983,” effective November 1, 1983, the Council authorized the relocation of Engine Company No. 3.

Relocation of Engine Company No. 24 Resolution of 1994: Pursuant to Resolution 10-247, effective January 14, 1994, the Council authorized the relocation of Engine Company No. 24 of the Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department.

Closing of companies: For temporary changes in Fire and Emergency Services Department, see § 502 of the Omnibus Budget Support Emergency Act of 1995 (D.C. Act 11-44, April 28, 1995, 42 DCR 2217), and § 802 of the Omnibus Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 1995 (D.C. Act 11-124, July 27, 1995, 42 DCR 4160).

Section 802 of D.C. Law 11-52 provided that, pursuant to D.C. Law 1-111, the Council approved the following changes in the Fire and Emergency Services Department:

(1) The Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department may permanently close Rescue Squad 4, located at 4930 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., and Truck Company 1, located at 500 F Street, N.W.

(2) The Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department may rotate the closing of no more than 5 companies on a daily basis.

Section 201 of D.C. Law 11-152, provided that pursuant to § 5-401, the Council approves the change in the Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department to allow it to rotate the closing of no more than 8 companies on a daily basis.

Section 404 of D.C. Law 11-198 provided that “notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department shall discontinue the rotational closing of any fire or rescue company after September 30, 1996.”

Section 405 of D.C. Law 11-198 repealed § 802(2) of D.C. Law 11-52.

Section 406 of D.C. Law 11-198 repealed § 201 of D.C. Act 11-279.

Section 1001 of D.C. Law 11-198 provided that titles I, II, III, V, and VI and §§ 405 and 406 of the act shall apply after September 30, 1996.

Section 1012 of D.C. Law 13-38 provided:

“(a) The Mayor shall direct the Chief of the Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department (’Department’) to establish as a funding priority for the Department, the purchase of equipment, including state of the art air masks and radios, and other articles identified in the Reconstruction Committee Report on the October 24, 1997, fire that resulted in the death of Sergeant Carter; and to implement a dual role/cross trained/firefighter/paramedic pilot program within the Department, using existing and other funds which may become available, including overtime funds, during Fiscal Year 2000.

“(b) The Mayor shall direct the Department Chief to deploy 2 Advanced Life Support Paramedics on 4 engine companies in the Department’s fleet. The Mayor shall direct the Chief to utilize existing or overtime funds to implement this project. The Mayor shall direct the Department Chief to consult with the Council before he determines which 4 engine companies will participate in the pilot program.”

Mayor's Orders

Redesignation of fire department: See Mayor’s Order 90-147, October 31, 1990.

Construction of Law

Section 401 of Law 21-254 provided that Law 21-254 shall be construed, and the authority granted under it shall be exercised, in a manner consistent with applicable federal laws and regulations.