DC Fire and EMS Chief highlights budget enhancements for fiscal year 2025

April 11, 2024

Fire Chief John A. Donnelly presents budget testimony to Judiciary and Public Safety Committee

On April 10, 2024, Fire Chief John A. Donnelly testified before the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety, chaired by The Honorable Brooke Pinto, regarding the District of Columbia Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department’s budget for Fiscal Year 2025.

The budget, reflecting a collaboration with Mayor Muriel Bowser, emphasizes strategic investments to enhance core services, with a focus on public safety, education, and downtown revitalization post-COVID.

Chief Donnelly highlighted the dedication of the Fire and EMS Department’s nearly 2,300 employees, commending their service to the residents and visitors of the District.

Strategic investments for public safety and health

The proposed gross operating budget for FY25 is $369,339,115, marking a 12.9 percent increase over the previous fiscal year.

This includes $302.1 million in local funds and $67.2 million in federal resources.

Significant enhancements include a $4.8 million one-time allocation for personal protective equipment (PPE) to safeguard personnel against immediate dangers and a variety of health hazards, including carcinogens and infectious pathogens.

Additionally, $842,000 is allocated to support the operational development of the District of Columbia Paramedic School, aiming to prepare residents for health care professional careers.

The budget also accounts for $6,797,000 for the maintenance of fire hydrants, ensuring the functionality of critical fire protection infrastructure.

Future-proofing the department through capital investments

Capital budget allocations for FY25 include funding for the replacement and maintenance of fire apparatus, incorporating state-of-the-art safety and environmental technologies.

The budget continues to support the Department’s capital improvements program, which ensures firehouses are maintained for the safety and comfort of the Department’s members.

FSJA Comment

Chief John A. Donnelly’s testimony before the Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety highlights the proactive measures the DC Fire and EMS Department is undertaking to ensure the safety and well-being of both its personnel and the broader community.

The budget for Fiscal Year 2025 reflects a comprehensive approach to addressing the evolving challenges of public safety and health, demonstrating the Department’s commitment to maintaining high standards of service.

The emphasis on strategic investments, particularly in personal protective equipment, the development of a local paramedic school, and infrastructure maintenance, showcases an understanding of the critical needs of a modern fire and emergency services department.

As the Department looks to the future, these investments not only aim to enhance operational capabilities but also to foster a safer and more prepared District of Columbia.

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