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Fire chief Kenneth Ellerbe should take a lesson from Councilmember Vincent Orange: running from reporters doesn’t make for flattering video. Fox 5 has the latest in the embattled chief’s dodges from the press, with Ellerbe avoiding questions from reporter Paul Wagner for half a block on U Street.
In the clip, Wagner asks Ellerbe when he’ll talk to the public about the sorry state of the city’s ambulance fleet, but Ellerbe’s not swayed. “I hear you talking to me, Paul Wagner,” Ellerbe says. “I don’t hear the public talking.”
Fire department spokesman Tim Wilson tells LL that the chief isn’t opposed to talking to reporters, but is usually too busy. In fact, Wilson says, he just talked to NBC 4’s Mark Segraves at the Palisades Parade.
LL’s theory: Ellerbe just isn’t that great at interviews. His answer for Wagner on why he couldn’t talk about the ambulances—-“I just got back from vacation”—-isn’t exactly the stuff of media-relations legend.