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D.C. woman leaves ambulance when paramedics argue (Video)

Monday - 3/24/2014, 7:38am  ET

WASHINGTON -- A woman being taken by a D.C. ambulance to get medical treatment got out because the paramedics were having such a heated argument she says she didn't feel safe.

Rose Preston, a Southeast resident, thought she was suffering a stroke on a recent Saturday and called 911, she told NBC Washington.

A D.C. ambulance came, but when the ride to a hospital began, Preston says her troubles weren't over.

"They're constantly bickering back and forth with one another, to the point that I felt so uncomfortable. I didn't feel safe being transported by the vehicle," Preston, an Army veteran, told NBC Washington.

Preston says two men were arguing about something that seemed personal.

Paramedic Engine 27, from Deanwood in Northeast, and Ambulance 19, from Southeast, both responded to Preston's call, but it's not known which unit took her.

Preston took a Metro train to a hospital later in the day.

She says the two paramedics exhibited "a total lack of professionalism in every way you can even imagine," and says the delay in getting treatment "really complicated my condition."

It turns out, Preston was suffering not from a stroke but from Bell's palsy, according to NBC Washington.

WTOP has called the D.C. Fire and EMS Department for comment, but has not heard back.

The D.C. Fire Department is under scrutiny for its responses. In January, 77-year-old Medric "Cecil" Mills went into cardiac arrest in a parking lot across from a Northeast fire station. No one from the station came to his aid, and an ambulance dispatched to assist him went to the wrong quadrant of D.C.

Mills later died at a hospital.

Watch NBC Washington's report below:

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