WASHINGTON (AP) — A District of Columbia police officer seriously injured in a hit-and-run crash had to wait at least 15 minutes for an ambulance from Prince George’s County because none were available in Washington.

The incident Tuesday night is stirring debate over staffing levels and response times. The heads of the police and firefighters unions called the lack of an ambulance unacceptable and inexcusable.

Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Paul Quander said Wednesday that he’s ordering an investigation to determine why there were no ambulances available.

Quander says 39 ambulances or paramedic units were supposed to be on D.C. streets. But a dispatcher was unable to find a free unit. The dispatcher requested help from Prince George’s County six minutes after the first 911 call. It arrived 18 minutes after the call.

Police have charged three men in connection with the hit-and-run crash that  happened about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in southeast Washington. Police say the officer was on his motor scooter when he was hit by a vehicle that fled the scene.

The officer suffered multiple injuries and is being treated at a local hospital.

Twenty-four-year-old Kevin Burno was charged with felony assault on a police officer. Antonio Parks, 22, and Darrin Twisdale, 25, were both charged with obstruction of justice and possession of an open container of alcohol.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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