Report: None of D.C.'s Engines Tested in Three Years

Only five of 26 ladder trucks in the nation's capital have passed a national safety test and none of the 53 pumpers have been tested in three years.

Days after D.C. Fire and EMS Chief Kenneth Ellerbe admitted the fleet has major issues, WJLA reporters dug deeper to find out just how bad it really is.

Among the things they determined were that many of the ladder trucks that failed the test were put right back on the streets and haven’t been re-tested in years.

Local 36 official Dabney Hudson told the station the  lack of oversight is putting both members and citizens at risk.

“There's no reason we should be in a situation where a vehicle that we know failed a test is being used everyday," she says. "It wouldn't happen in the majority of the jurisdictions, and it shouldn't happen in the District of Columbia."

The vehicles are supposed to be tested annually to ensure that the ladder can hold weight and the pumper’s pressure control system will function, the reporter noted.

During the story, the video showed duct tape holding parts on a ladder truck. Although it didn't pass the test in August, it's still in service to respond to calls. 

The station also didn't take Ellerbe's explanation that apparatus maintenance issues are a nationwide problem. 

WJLA reached out to a number of departments, and asked for the number of ladders, pumpers and their test results.

Here's what they found -- The first number is the amount of pumper trucks that have passed the safety test out of the total number of pumper trucks. The second number is the number of ladder trucks that passed out of the total number of ladder trucks.

Columbus, 52/52, 22/22; Nashville, 51/51, 18/18; Seattle, 43/43, 14/14; Phoenix, 85/85, 20/20; Indianapolis: 58/58, 29/29 and Atlanta: 37/37, 16/20

 

 



 

Loading