When a man collapsed across from a D.C. firehouse on Saturday afternoon, people immediately yelled for the firefighter standing at the door for help.
Some even went over. Yet, despite repeated pleas neither he nor others on duty walked across the street to assist.
The 77-year-old man, who still worked for the city parks and recreation department, died.
"I mean everybody was screaming and hollering at him across the street. Why [couldn’t] he come? It's not making sense and I think it was three separate people who went across to the fire station,” the man's daughter, Marie Mills, told a WTTG reporter.
"He (the firefighter at Engine 26) said something about his lieutenant and some type of authorization, and that he could not come and to recall dispatch and advise them that they needed to send somebody, and that the condition of the patient could be getting worse,” she said, “When I saw my dad was having shallow breaths, I ran to the curb and started screaming for him to come and help my father.”
Several people also called 911. But, sources told the reporter that when an ambulance and engine were dispatched, it not only wasn't from across the street from where the man lay struggling to breathe, the crew got lost as it was sent to another section of the city.
"That's why my daddy lay on that ground...That's how much he loved Department of Parks and Recreation and his city, and he died in the city that didn't do anything to help him.”
Mills said Fire Chief Kenneth Ellerbe has promised to have someone look into the incident.
The D.C. Fire and EMS Department has come under continued scrutiny in the past several years.