City Desk

Classic Overuse of Emergency Responders in Rock Creek Park

On Saturday afternoon, my dude and I descended down the Pinehurst Trail in Rock Creek Park to some excitement. An ambulance whizzed toward us on West Beach Drive. A woman in a fanny pack ran by us, apparently chasing down the red lights.

"He's on the other side of the bridge, near where those two people are standing," she told the driver, pointing at us. We also heard the word "ankle" and indications a gentleman on the other side of Rolling Meadows Bridge (north of Military Road and the golf course) had sprained or, perhaps, broken his.

Next to arrive were a couple of fire trucks. The thwap-thwap of a helicopter could be heard overhead. Not wanting to gawk and understanding that a sprained and/or broken ankle is not terribly exciting, my dude and I continued on our hike, which ran parallel to the road. A few minutes in, we then watched another emergency vehicle race south toward the incident, towing a rescue dinghy.

So what the hell happened? I talked to four employees of the National Park Police inside Rock Creek this morning.

Officer One: "I have no idea. That must have happened after I left. Call the substation."

Officer Two (at the substation): "There is no one who could give you information. It could be an investigation." Me: "Well, is there an investigation?" Her: "I don't know."

Officer Three: "You're going to have to call the information guy, Sgt. Lachance."

Officer Four (Sgt. Robert Lachance): "I don't know of any incident and I'm not in a position to speak on that right now. Why don't you try calling me back later?"

I do know one thing: If you're going to sprain and/or break your ankle, do it in Rock Creek Park on the weekend. The Monday morning shift may not have a clue, but emergency personnel on the weekend are totally amped.

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