The Concerned Citizen

::: Deep inside the DC Government :::

Major Metro Shutdown

The first major shutdown of the Metro DMV subway system begins today.

metro

The blue, orange, and silver lines will be closed entirely between the Minnesota Avenue and Eastern Market stations. The shutdown runs through July 3rd and will affect the commute for tens of thousands of people, particularly those who take Metro from Prince George’s County, Maryland. Metro will offer bus service between the two closed stations, but general manager Paul Wiedefeld cautioned riders that the buses simply will not be able to handle the number of people who usually ride the subway during rush hour.

Government agencies are being urged to allow workers affected by the shutdown to modify their work schedules.  Contributed by:  p_smith@ccindc.com

Filed under: The Watch Desk

DC to help residents pay for surveillance cameras.

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Police say surveillance video helped track down the man charged in the shooting on North Capitol Street due to images captured by several Security Cameras on private residences and businesses in the area. Chief Lanier said that the North Capitol Street case is a perfect example where cameras can be extremely useful to police. So, the District has now adopted a Security Camera System Incentive Program that will reimburse up to $500 of camera costs to residents who purchase and install video surveillance equipment. The program was initiated by the D.C. Council earlier this year with a limited pool of resources.

Mayor Bowser said “Our security camera program continues to have funds available and we want people to call us so if we have an incident we can make a swift arrest.” DC residents can contact the program at security.cameras@dc.gov or, by calling 202-727-5124.

The Concerned Citizen urges residents to call the number listed above and take advantage of this program while funds are still available.

Reported by:  Jillian A. Cohen |  ja_cohen@theconcernedcitizen.net

Filed under: Around Town

Metro’s GM drops the hammer!

Today, as DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx considered issuing an order to shut wiedefeld_managers_KKIdown the entire subway system, Metro’s new GM, Paul Wiedefeld, met with 650 of the agency’s mid and senior level managers in a closed door meeting. During the meeting, he ordered them to put safety first.

Weidefeld told his managers that certain phrases being stated such as; “They didn’t tell me”, “That’s not the way we do it”, and “This is the way its always been done” are now banned from Metro vocabulary.

At the close of the meeting, a flyer was handed out to each manager as he or she walked out and he reminded them that they are At-Will employees who can be terminated at any time without notice.

As Wiedefeld was leaving, he told members of the press that Metro managers now know exactly where I’m coming from. I laid out very specifically the types of things I’m expecting, so if they can manage to that level fine. If they can’t, they’re probably not a good fit for Metro and will be let go. The Concerned Citizen has learned that some managers are already pounding the pavement.

Maybe now Metro will finally turn a new leaf with Paul Wiedefeld at the helm.

Filed under: Public Servants

“Disturbing Update” , to a recent 911 mishap.

If you remember, on January 20, 2016, the Concerned Citizen commented on a Paul Wagner/Fox5 exclusive report about a DC citizen who died after yet another delay in getting ALS paramedic assistance to a DC citizen.

Watch the VIDEO again and listen closely to Paul’s report. He says that according to Karima Holmesdirector Karima Holmes, the dispatcher in question had not refreshed her computer and was unaware that advanced life support was needed until A27 arrived on the scene and made the request.

Well folks, the Concerned Citizen has discovered through interviews and investigation that Karima Holmes either willfully misled city leadership and the public, or she was misled, lied to, and misinformed by the members of her administration charged with the investigation of this incident. However it happened, her Public Trust has been damaged.

Following are just 3 of the Facts that we’ve uncovered so far:

Number 1: According to transcripts of the incident and interviews with experienced Fire Department personnel, who are familiar with dispatch procedure, the police dispatcher indicated in her initial request for EMS that it was a male Unconscious and Not Breathing, which should have prompted the FEMS dispatcher, later determined to be a Ms. Robin Scott, to code and send an immediate delta-ALS response when she recreated the event for FEMS. Instead she coded the event as a bravo unknown, which only recommends a basic life support unit, and dispatched ambulance 27.

Number 2: OUC director, Karima Holmes, stated that the dispatcher, had not refreshed her computer. Well, our sources tell us that the CAD (Computer Aided Dispatch) system has an Update Button that turns red whenever new notes are added to any report. The dispatcher in question only needed to press her update button to see that CPR was in progress, her computer did not need to be refreshed. However, if Ms. Scott had read the notes and coded the original event correctly, an advanced life support unit would have been dispatched in the very beginning instead of finally being sent and arriving some 20 minutes or so after being requested by the police. We’ve also learned that failure to update your CAD is a violation of OUC policy and procedure, and in a serious case like this, where the death of a citizen is involved, the violation usually results in a lengthy suspension if not termination for “Neglect of Duty”.

Number 3: This may be the most disturbing fact of all. It’s bad enough that yet another citizen, 67-year-old Lawrence Brown, died as a result of a 911 blunder in the District of Columbia; but now, the Concerned Citizen has learned that the very same dispatcher, Robin Scott, who just neglected her duty and failed to follow written policy by not sending the appropriate response, which could have in fact helped to save Mr. Brown’s life instead of possibly causing his death, was recently promoted to the position of Quality Assurance Officer.

Are you kidding Ms. Holmes? Is this some type of a joke or have you indeed been misled by your managers? You mean to say that an employee under your watch gets promoted instead of punished for causing a delay in service which in-turn contributed to, if not caused, the death of a citizen.

A few months ago, and at your behest, the Concerned Citizen said we would withhold criticism and opinions until after you’ve had a chance to take control of your agency and make the necessary changes to correct internal problems and remove the divisive and unproductive managers which have plagued the agency for years; however, this latest fiasco and the ultimate promotion (not suspension or termination) of the employee responsible is simply ridiculous and has destroyed this organizations confidence in you and your public’s Trust.

Be advised Ms. Holmes: The Concerned Citizen will no longer stand by with commentary as you have requested. Enough is enough. Unless immediate and decisive action is taken by you to reverse this latest slap in the face of our citizens, we will notify the Mayor; City Counsel; local and national news media; wards and tax paying residents across the city; and yes, even the family of Mr. Brown.

Let it be known now that this organization intends to report and expose corruption and mismanagement by elected and appointed officials by any means necessary.

We urge any government employee with information pertaining to city officials and managers who abuse their power, through threats, intimidation, or the like, to help advance our cause and make DC great again. You can and will remain anonymous. Just email any information and/or documents you may have to… investigations@theconcernedcitizen.net.

Filed under: The Watch Desk

Are 911 dispatchers being overworked?

Commentary by: Jillian A. Cohen |  ja_cohen@theconcernedcitizen.net

According to the following statement made by Christopher Geldart, director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management for the District of Columbia, who also dc dispatch centerserved as interim director of the OUC (DC911) until the appointment of Karima Holmes, 911 call takers have a very hard job. “You’re talking to people on their worst day. It’s a hard job to do normally, and then to do it for 12 hours, that’s a lot.”

Well, the Concerned Citizen has learned that 911 police, fire, and emergency medical Dispatchers, a highly skilled group of individuals who undergo countless hours of initial training coupled with a yearly mandate of continuing education, are being forced, by the Operations Manager, to answer 911 calls when not sitting in the dispatch position, “the hot seat”, as it’s called by insiders.

We talked with some current and former DC officials and were informed that Janice Quintana, a former 911 director, ended the practice mentioned above, sighting employee stress and fatigue as factors that contribute to dispatch errors. We were also advised that this same Operations Manager, who was outspokenly opposed to Ms. Quintana’s decision to end the double duty of dispatchers, resumed the practice under interim director, Teddy Kavaleri, following her departure.

Listen folks! If the singular job of a 911 call taker is considered to be extremely hard during a 12 hour shift, it’s a wonder that Dispatchers, who are being forced to take 911 emergency calls and dispatch as well during a 12 hour shift, haven’t gone crazy by now. Don’t these employees have different job descriptions?

Dear Ms. Holmes, concerned citizens of the District of Columbia would like to see their 911 call takers concentrate on taking emergency and non-emergency calls for service and Dispatchers concentrate solely on their discipline, which is to send the residents and visitors of DC the right help, to the right place, at the right time.

After consulting with medical experts, the Concerned Citizen is convinced that fatigue and stress can seriously hamper the performance of dispatchers who need to be alert and functioning at high levels of mental accuracy when dealing life and property.

The current requirement, re-established by your Operations Manager, is an accident waiting to happen. As such, we sincerely urge you, as the agency’s Director, to put an immediate stop to this ridiculous and dangerous practice, before it results in another tragic incident.

Filed under: Commentary

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