DC First Responder Says Police Shortage Endangers EMT Lives

Screenshot/YouTube/Public - User: House Committee On The Judiciary

Daily Caller News Foundation logo
Lillian Tweten Contributor
Font Size:

A firefighter paramedic in Washington, D.C., told representatives at a House Judiciary meeting on Thursday that police shortages in the city have heavily restricted how much first responders can assist victims of violent crimes.

Members of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Federal Government Surveillance held the meeting to discuss increasing crime in D.C., and interviewed six witnesses who had either had contact with or been the victims of violent crime in the city since 2020. Myisha Richards, who has served as a firefighter paramedic since 2017, told members of the committee that first responders wait long periods of time for police officers to show up as backup during potentially violent medical emergencies. (RELATED: House Judiciary Committee Subpoenas FBI Agent Who Allegedly Lied About Hunter Biden Laptop)

“That’s the state we’re in right now. I’ve waited an excess of 20 minutes before to try and get MPD [the Metropolitan Police Department] on scene for a violent call,” Richards told the subcommittee.

“What do you do for 20 minutes?” Republican Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz asked.

“We stage. And we wait, because, at this point, we’re not … we’re not going into those scenes,” Richards said. “And so, therefore, the citizens are not getting treated, right? They can’t have our services because it’s not safe for us to go in there.”

“That sounds like life or death to me, that people could actually die because we don’t have enough police to even keep our own first responders safe that want to save people’s lives,” Gaetz said. “Have you been confronted with these types of life or death situations, where people can’t get the care they need because you’re waiting for, essentially you’re waiting for … for firepower and cover to be able to go help people?”

“I could say that, yes, there’s been times where we have to wait,” Richards responded. “And like I said, I’ve waited myself, personally, for an excess of 20 minutes for MPD to arrive on scene.”

The MPD did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact