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The District’s Fire and EMS Department will spend $182,880 figuring out just what’s going on with its vehicle fleet, the department announced today. The 60-day audit, led by D.C.-based firm BDA Global, will establish a maintenance schedule and other practices for the fleet.

That hasn’t always been easy task for the fire department. In March, Chief Kenneth Ellerbe gave the D.C. Council exaggerated numbers on the department’s reserve fleet. (A mystery deputy fire chief took the fall). More recently, the recent heat wave shut down some ambulances, forcing the department to hire private ambulances to cover Verizon Center and Nationals Park.

Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells, whose judiciary and public safety committee oversees the fire department, tells LL that he doesn’t mind the cost because the work needs to be done. The department, according to Wells, has only a “crude” inventory of its vehicles.

Wells was more concerned about the fact that the department already lacked a reliable fleet audit. “This was a failure of management,” says Wells, who (LL can’t help but note) is running for the job that the fire department’s management ultimately report to. “A supreme failure.”

Photo by Darrow Montgomery