Engine 30′s quarters from Google Maps.
(Note: I inadvertently failed to add a link to Andrea Noble’s article and the picture of the pool (here it is). For those who asked this is an above-ground, private pool. My apologies.)
Engine 30 is one of the busiest companies in the nation and the Nation’s Capital. Saturday was likely the busiest day of 2012 as the city and the region coped with the aftermath of the deadly storm late Friday night that knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of homes and created a lot of extra work for those in public safety. The DC Fire & EMS Department reported on its Twitter feed that it handled more than 1500 emergency calls in a 24 hour period on Saturday.
Andrea Noble at The Washington Times reports some of that extra work on Saturday wasn’t created by the storm, but was man-made. According to Noble, it was an order to put the crew from Engine 30 out of service for an hour and sent them to the 300 block of 55th Street, NE to fill a swimming pool. (We know how reporters like to use the suffix “gate” in naming government scandals in honor of the ultimate one 40-years-ago that brought down a president. Shouldn’t this one also be called “watergate”?)
“It’s a highly unusual request even on a normal day,” said D.C. Firefighters Association President Ed Smith, who confirmed the pool-filling.
Lon Walls, a fire department spokesman, did not respond to requests for comment left at his office, on his cellphone or an emailed request asking about Saturday’s incident in particular and the department’s policy on filling swimming pools in general.
Mr. Smith also confirmed the engine was placed out of service while it completed the task – an action that requires authorization and would likely indicate the crew did not embark on the assignment on its own.
“For the company to go out of service requires a high level of approval,” he said.
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Also on STATter911 …
- Watergate goes national. CNN gets to the bottom of the swimming pool scandal in the Nation’s Capital. – July 6, 2012
- Water-Gate II, The Sequel: DC firefighters fill another private swimming pool after chief tells CNN it wouldn’t happen again. – July 9, 2012
- Watergate update: DC Chief Kenneth Ellerbe launches investigation. Says he didn’t approve pool filling but wants to find out who did. – July 3, 2012
- Wounded DC firefighter taken to firehouse for help. Reported to be victim of off-duty robbery. – November 16, 2013
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