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(c) Repealed.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.