EXCLUSIVE: EMT accused of sleeping while on duty has history of work performance issues

- There are new details about a D.C. firefighter/EMT who appeared to be asleep on the job during an ambulance run. We first showed you amateur video last week appearing to show the emergency responder asleep or nodding off during a patient transport to the hospital.

The cellphone video was taken in the back of an ambulance during that transport. The patient, who suffered from a ruptured appendix, rode the ambulance with a friend who shot the video and was in disbelief that the firefighter/EMT appeared to fall asleep on the call.

D.C. Fire and EMS confirmed Dominique Rust is under investigation for the incident. According to sources, she has a short and tumultuous tenure as a first responder.

Documents show Rust failed three out of eight tests administered during training academy. Despite her results, she was hired in June of 2013 and assigned to the District's busiest fire house -- Engine Company 30 in Southeast -- where she had  performance-based issues, including sleeping on the job, according to sources.

In just seven months after being hired, then-interim fire chief Eugene Jones ordered Rust transferred and assigned to Engine Company 13 in Southwest, one of the primary engines assigned to respond to the White House.

Sources say the transfer during her first 18 months on the job was "unprecedented" especially given the fact the first year and a half on the job is a mandatory probationary period.

Sources familiar with her D.C. fire history assure her status indicates she is "not qualified to drive" the units, a qualification deemed necessary especially given the importance of Engine Company 13.

FOX 5 reached out to Rust on Tuesday by phone, but she declined to comment.

We reached out to D.C. Fire and EMS for comment and they say the agency does not discuss training or personnel matters as they are confidential. But they did say since the allegations are under investigation, Rust has been placed on administrative duty with no patient contact.

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