ABC7 is reporting tonight that a failure to gas up Medic 1, the presidential motorcade’s official ambulance, put the first family in danger last week as the president and his wife headed out for his birthday dinner without emergency backup.

Fire officials confirm that the vehicle was towed away and is now being repaired off-site. Fire officials say that as per policy, the crew should have but did not fill up the tank that day. Sources say the bigger issue is that the vehicle’s fuel gauge had been broken for months and not been repaired.

For months, D.C. Councilman Tommy Wells has been critical of the fire department for not quickly addressing a fleet in despair. He says all District residents, including those in the White House, deserve better:

“This is just an example that highlights the fact that we are not where we need to be.”

The Washington Times reports that Medic 1’s problems are a further embarrassment to the city’s fire department. Three-quarters of the department’s ambulance fleet was out for repairs in July when a heat wave knocked out air conditioning systems.