D.C. Fire and EMS Department, (also known as DC FEMS, FEMS, DCFD, DC Fire, or Fire & EMS), suffered another debilitating blow over the weekend.
Two department firefighters were arrested on DUI charges in separate incidents early Sunday morning.
One employee was arrested in Arlington, Va., while the other was arrested in Westminster, Md.
It's been a tough time for Fire and EMS (headed by Fire Chief Kenneth Ellerbe) because the most recent arrests bring the nation's capital's fire force total number of arrests to 15, since last October 2014. Twelve are either on administrative leave or in the process of being dismissed, and one has resigned.
"There have been a number of firefighters recently who have been arrested, and it's at a level now that we have to take a different approach to this," Deputy Mayor Paul Quander said, according to The Washington Post.
Several D.C. residents are concerned about the recent arrests.
"I simply don't understand why there've been over a dozen arrests of Fire and EMS officials," said D.C. resident Tyrese Simmons. "Sadly, I feel like it's part of the current culture of the department. It has gone into a fit of disarray in recent times; although some say it's always been in screwed up."
Many D.C. residents might remember Lt. Henry Dent, who was stationed at Engine 28 in Northwest, was arrested in St. Mary's County on prescription drug charges (he was in possession of 47 oxycodone pills, 18 fake prescriptions and six empty prescription bottles in his car).
Or how about the D.C. firefighter who was arrested on a charge of second-degree sexual assault?
The lack of response to Medric Cecil Mills Jr., a 77-year-old man who died from a heart attack right outside of a firehouse as his family member went to firehouse employees seeking assistance; and was denied, it's still fresh on the minds of many D.C. residents.
Amy Washington remarked, "It feels like if they're not just doing their jobs, they're being arrested."