by Darcy Spencer
D.C. fire officials are investigating whether department employees have been running a prostitution ring out of several of the city's firehouses.
Sources close to the investigation told the Washington Times that as many as a dozen employees stationed with at least four fire companies citywide are being investigated for involvement in the prostitution ring.
The sources reportedly said the ring has been referred to as "D.C. Fems" -- a play on the acronym for the city's Fire and Emergency Medical Services department.
Investigators are looking into whether female emergency medical technicians performed sex acts for money on men, including male fire department employees, in the bunkhouses of fire stations since late last year, sources said.
The investigation is also looking at whether a male fire officer might have also been involved in coordinating the operation, sources said.
Fire officials apparently learned of the ring during a criminal investigation last month of claims that a sergeant exposed himself to a female emergency medical technician.
Sources said that incident occurred July 30 in the lounge area of Engine 8 in the 1500 block of C Street Southeast.
Fire Chief Dennis Rubin put the sergeant accused of exposing himself on administrative leave after the incident was reported, and the sergeant soon after resigned from the department.
Sources said Engine 8 is not among the stations being investigated.
Officials said no action has been taken against any employee in connection with the investigation.
Officials would not say how many people are under investigation or identify the firehouses where they were stationed.