Report: None of DC's engines tested in 3 years

Only five of the 26 ladder trucks have passed, but some remain on the street


WASHINGTON — Just days after D.C. Fire Chief Kenneth Ellerbe admitted to big problems with DCFEMS equipment, our team did some digging to see if this kind of neglect common in other cities.

According to internal documents obtained by the ABC7 I-Team, only five of the District Fire Department’s 26 ladder trucks have passed a national recognized safety test — and none of the agency’s 53 pumper trucks have been tested since 2010.

This means that when District ladder and pumper trucks respond to an emergency, the community cannot be assured that the equipment will work properly, according to the agency’s own records. These vehicles are supposed to be tested annually to ensure that the ladder can hold weight and the pumper’s pressure control system will function. But based on internal documents, many of the ladder trucks that failed the test were put right back on the streets and haven’t been re-tested in years.

Full story: DCFEMS fleets fall behind in safety compared to other cities

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