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D.C. ambulance crews struggling

Response times for ambulances in the District have been slowed because of whiteout conditions, and dialysis patients in need of treatment have made up the bulk of emergency calls, the city's fire and EMS spokesman said.

"We're making all the calls; its challenging, of course," said spokesman Pete Piringer. "We are sending additional units, four-wheel-drive vehicles, and we also have some National Guard Humvees."

Piringer said about a half-dozen dialysis calls had come in Wednesday morning, and that ambulances were able to get patients to treatment centers. He said there have also been calls for partial roof collapses, slips and falls and issues with carbon monoxide in homes. Piringer said that as of about 11 a.m., there were no storm-related fatalities Wednesday.

He also said a few babies had been born during the storm, including one in a residence in Shaw on Tuesday night.

So Young Pak, spokeswoman for Washington Hospital Center, said the facility's dialysis center was open, and that patients were coming in slowly, but that the hospital is getting a few calls from patients who can't get in for treatment. Pak said the hospital was rescheduling appointments where possible, and also trying to connect those patients with volunteers from a nonprofit that has been giving rides to dialysis patients during the storm if they needed immediate treatment.

-- Jonathan Mummolo

By Washington Post Editors  |  February 10, 2010; 11:50 AM ET
Categories:  Driving , Safety , Weather  
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