WASHINGTON (WDVM) — It has been one year since a violent mob attacked the US Capitol while Congress worked to certify the 2020 election results. The Capitol complex is federal jurisdiction, but the aid of local police, fire and EMS saved the day.
The DC Fire Department and Emergency Medical Services (DCFEMS) and Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) were on the scene all day. The departments had prepared for the rally that happened on the Ellipse earlier that morning, and their willingness to step in and help as backup that day kept things from escalating even further.
Metropolitan Police Officer Daniel Hodges said, “It’s the Capitol of the United States of America. It’s an honor to go there and help defend it. It was a response that many take pride in but a difficult day, nonetheless.”
“I took a lot of blows to the head, had a large contusion on my head, likely a concussion, busted lip. Just generally battered and bruised,” said Hodges. Fortunately for Officer Hodges, these injuries are less severe than some of his brothers and sisters in blue.
While MPD’s response helped secure the Capitol, DCFEMS was also there all day long, tending to numerous injuries.
Christopher Holmes, battalion fire chief, DCFEMS, said, “Protesters, bystanders, police officers, a lot of people were injured that our men and women, EMTs, firefighters and paramedics were able to assist.” Without the assistance of these local first responders, the aftermath would have been much, much worse.
“Your federal agencies fell down. It was the district government that came in that day. It is the district that helped take back the Capitol, defend and keep democracy,” said Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen, who represents the area of the District that the Capitol is in.
Although the District’s response saved lives and got things under control, officials are still waiting for action from Congress a year later. Allen said, “It is shameful that Congress, in the face of their own attack, that the District bailed them out, came to their rescue, and they can’t find it in them to give us control of our own National Guard.”
Councilmember Allen said that while some of the symptoms from Jan. 6 have been treated, the illness has to be addressed going forward. “The illness is just the dishonesty and lies from some elected officials. The violence and hatred that some endorsed. That is what has to be addressed.”
Regardless of what the future holds, the heroes representing the District of Columbia will be waiting and ready to respond. Chief Holmes, said, “Focus, and our goal is to make sure we care for those people, and we care for the people who are injured and who need our assistance.” Daniel Hodges added, “It’s seeing people need help, and when you’re in the position to do so, you do it, even if you’re not required to.”
Moving forward, Councilmember Allen mentioned some of the wants, such as letting D.C. control their National Guard. Still, officials believe that statehood would help with many of the operational issues that we saw on Jan. 6.