A 77-year-old man collapsed across the street from a Northeast D.C. fire station in the nation’s capital on Jan. 25. As his daughter held him in her arms, the firefighters inside the station refused to help him. Medric Cecil Mills Jr. died later that day at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, The Washington Post reported.
The mayor of the District of Columbia said he’s outraged that city firefighters didn’t come to the aid of Mills, a longtime employee of the D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation.
Relatives of Medric Mills said he went into cardiac arrest Saturday afternoon in a shopping center parking lot. They said several people went across the street to the station, but no firefighters or emergency medical workers walked over to help. Mills got help 15 or 20 minutes after he fell, when a police office flagged down a passing ambulance.
Mayor Vincent Gray said Wednesday that he has spoken to Marie Mills, who was with her father when he collapsed.
Gray calls the incident “an outrage.” He said officials are investigating and will hold people accountable. He said those involved failed to show “common decency.”
Lt. Kellene Davis was the officer in charge of the fire station when the incident happened, according to WTTG FOX 5. Internal Affairs interviewed her on Jan. 29. She covered her face with a manila folder and would not speak to FOX 5 reporters as she left the meeting. She has been placed on desk duty while the incident is being investigated, the Washington Post reported.
“There are no regulations or protocols that would have prevented [fire department] personnel on the scene from taking action to help Mr. Mills,” Paul A. Quander Jr., deputy mayor for public safety, said in a statement Jan. 30. “It’s hard to get your arms around how and why this happened.”
The firefighters union did not respond to a request for comment by press time, but Ed Smith, president of the firefighters union, issued a statement: “This just shouldn’t have happened. We need to find out why it did occur and make sure it never happens again. On behalf of the D.C. Firefighters Association, I offer Mr. Mills’s family a sincere apology.”
Quander and Keith St. Clair, director of communications for the D.C. Public Safety Department, also did not respond to a request for comment by press time.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.