Sick Policy on Leave for D.C. Fire/EMS

D.C. fire and EMS personnel who don't feel up to par for a shift now through June 2 can't just call in sick. They'll first have to be checked in an ER or the department's clinic.

That edict was handed down by Chief Kenneth Ellerbe this week.

There has been widespread use of sick leave during holidays in the past, and Ellerbe said he took steps to make sure that's not the case this Memorial Day weekend, according to WRC.

“When our members are granted leave to spend time with families during the holidays, it’s important to maintain sufficient staffing to keep units in service and respond to all emergency calls,.” he said in a statement.

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IAFF President Ed Smith said the union filed a formal grievance against the new sick time policy. He added that any shortfall of staffers during holiday weekends is the result of overall agency personnel shortages, not sick calls.