National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries
When 77-year-old Medric Cecil Mills collapsed of a heart attack right in a parking lot across the street from a Northeast Washington fire station, yesterday, his daughter begged nearby on-duty firefighters for help. They refused saying the victim had to call 9-1-1 first.
According to reports by the Washington Post and WTTG Channel 5 News, three different rotations of people knocked on the firehouse door requesting help for the 77-year-old, and all of them were rebuffed by the firefighters who repeated to each of them that they couldn’t respond unless someone called 911. Nearly 20 minutes later, help finally arrived thanks D.C. police officer who flagged an ambulance down. Mills died on the way to the hospital.
“There are no words to describe how this city has failed,” his daughter told the Washington Post on Wednesday, prompting District authorities to investigate the 15 firefighters who are now being questioned for their lack of response during a time of emergency.
“I’m quite disturbed and disappointed by what appears to be an inapropriate response,” said Paul A. Quander Jr., the deputy mayor for public safety. Quander Jr., said that while full details of what transpired in the station are still under review, the basic facts are not in dispute, and are being taken very seriously. “[Fire fighers] don’t wait to be called…we should have responded to this incident.”
The story’s coverage has drawn widespread attention, prompting the D.C Mayor Vincent C. Gray to speak out, calling the event “really hard to accept.”
This marks the most recent in a string of incidents that have many asking for reforms of D.C.’s fire department. The Department’s chief, Kenneth B. Ellerbe, recently faced questions regarding a New Years Day 2013 incident in which a 71-year-old man died of a heart attack after nearly half-an-hour wait for an ambulance on a day when one-third of the firefighters on duty had called in sick.
Reforms were supposedly being implemented after the 2006 death of retired New York Times reporter and editor David E. Rosenbaum. He died after D.C. emergency personnel mistook the effects of injuries from a vicious mugging for public intoxication and labeled the incident low-priority.
Tim Wilson, a spokesman for the fire department, said that everyone assigned to Engine 26 and Truck 15 on the day of the incident is currently being questioned, and that at least one firefighter who refused to help was hired in the last year has not yet passed probation.
Authorities said that the fire truck dispatched from another station as a result of 911 calls made by bystadners went to a different address than the one given—an element of the case that is also under review. Engine 26, from the station in question, was out on a call at the time of the heart attack, but eventually responded. At the time of Mills’ collapsing, Truck 15 had been in the station, available.
Rod Bastanmehr is a freelance writer, born in San Francisco, with a focus on film, culture and politics. His writing has appeared in Nerve, Thought Catalog, Not Coming to a Theatre Near You and more.More Rod Bastanmehr.
A bird's view of tulip fields near Voorhout in the Netherlands, photographed with a drone in April 2015.
Angalamman Festival is celebrated every year in a small town called Kaveripattinam in Tamil Nadu. Devotees, numbering in tens of thousands, converge in this town the day after Maha Shivratri to worship the deity Angalamman, meaning 'The Guardian God'. During the festival some of the worshippers paint their faces that personifies Goddess Kali. Other indulge in the ritual of piercing iron rods throughout their cheeks.
Kit Mikai is a natural rock formation about 40m high found in Western Kenya. She goes up the rocks regularly to meditate. Kit Mikai, Kenya
On a weekend trip to buffalo from Toronto we made a pit stop at Niagara Falls on the Canadian side. I took this shot with my nexus 5 smartphone. I was randomly shooting the falls themselves from different viewpoints when I happened to get a pretty lucky and interesting shot of this lone seagull on patrol over the falls. I didn't even realize I had captured it in the shot until I went back through the photos a few days later
Incredibly beautiful and extremely remote. Koehn Lake, Mojave Desert, California. Aerial Image.
Lucky timing! The oxpecker was originally sitting on hippo's head. I could see the hippo was going into a huge yawn (threat display?) and the oxpecker had to vacate it's perch. When I snapped the pic, the oxpecker appeared on the verge of being inhaled and was perfectly positioned between the massive gaping jaws of the hippo. The oxpecker also appears to be screeching in terror and back-pedaling to avoid being a snack!
The Yetis of Nepal - The Aghoris as they are called are marked by colorful body paint and clothes
Taken from a zodiac raft on a painfully cold, rainy day
This wave is situated right near the CBD of Sydney. Some describe it as the most dangerous wave in Australia, due to it breaking on barnacle covered rocks only a few feet deep and only ten metres from the cliff face. If you fall off you could find yourself in a life and death situation. This photo was taken 300 feet directly above the wave from a helicopter, just as the surfer is pulling into the lip of the barrel.
Salon is proud to feature content from AlterNet, an award-winning news magazine and online community that creates original journalism and amplifies the best of hundreds of other independent media sources.