D.C.’s Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department (FEMS) is regularly investigated for its inefficient responses to life-threatening emergencies. Recent examples include a man who collapsed next to a fire station and died after receiving no immediate help; a man who died after police apparently shooed away an ambulance; and just last month, a toddler who died after choking on a grape, when emergency personnel a block away were not dispatched.
Yet despite the public scrutiny, FEMS has also proved itself slow on the uptake when it comes to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.
Last year, National Weather Service programmer Ryan Schuster and a handful of civic hackers at Code for DC decided to parse through the data to better understand the District’s emergency dispatch system, and where inefficiencies might lie. The project was called the Emergency Response Data Analysis project. Continue>>>