Motorist Collides with LAFD Unit Responding to Fire

Sunday, January 22, 2006 |

On Sunday, January 22, 2006 at 12:12 PM, two Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, five LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one Heavy Rescue, one LAFD Flatbed Transport, one Bulldozer Tender, two EMS Battalion Captains, one Battalion Chief Officer Command Team and one Division Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Battalion Chief James Gaffney responded to a Traffic Collision with LAFD Involvement near 13230 Vaughn Street in Pacoima.

Los Angeles Fire Department Hazardous Materials Squad 70 (2005 Pierce, LAFD Shop #60664), had been dispatched in emergency response mode as part of the first alarm assignment to a structure fire in the Pacoima area, when it was struck by a civilian passenger vehicle at the signal-controlled suburban intersection of Vaughn Street and Glenoaks Boulevard in the northeast San Fernando Valley.

The Northridge-based unit, one of four LAFD Hazardous Materials Squads, is staffed by specially certified Los Angeles Firefighters who may be deployed citywide to assist in a broad variety of emergencies not necessarily involving hazardous materials. Their formal dispatch to a residential structure fire within one mile of their reported location, is in keeping with LAFD protocol.

According to witnesses, LAFD Squad 70 was traveling southbound on Glenoaks Boulevard with its full-complement of emergency warning lights and siren activated, when it was struck broadside by an eastbound compact sedan at Vaughn Street.

The force of the collision on the right side of Squad 70 caused a complete dislocation of the Squad's rear axle, physically impairing its control. Despite the Squad driver's efforts, the Fire Department vehicle struck a utility pole and compact sedan stopped nearby.

As their vehicle came to rest, Squad 70 personnel radioed for assistance and immediately went to the aid of motorists involved in the collision. Scene safety and traffic control were quickly implemented and additional Firefighters and Paramedics soon arrived to commence an orderly triage, treatment and transportation of the injured.

Occupying the tan Mitsubishi Galant sedan that struck the Squad broadside were a 25 year-old female driver, her mother and daughter. All occupants were properly restrained by seat belts, and only the driver was desirous of medical treatment and transport for non-specific injuries.

Within the late-model silver Honda Accord sedan that had properly yielded curbside to the approaching emergency vehicle, were three members of one family. The 51 year-old male driver, his 48 year-old wife alongside him and 15 year-old son seated in the rear, were all properly seat-belted in the car. The son appears to have sustained a fractured clavicle, while his Mother and Father complained of neck and back discomfort.

The four LAFD personnel in Squad 70 were all wearing seat belts in accordance with LAFD policy and California State Law. The forceful collision caused a Fire Captain to sustain neck and back pain. The remaining members of his unit declined immediate treatment and transportation.

The four civilians and Fire Captain were transported by LAFD Ambulance to area hospitals, including Providence Holy Cross Medical Center and Pacifica Hospital of the Valley in minor to moderate distress.

None of the injuries is believed to be life-threatening, and no other injuries were reported.

The fire that Squad 70 was responding to was a working blaze of undetermined origin that consumed two upstairs rooms of a nearby home. There were however, no serious injuries related to the fire.

Along with Los Angeles Police Officers from the Foothill Community Police Station and the Valley Traffic Division, the LAPD dispatched it's Specialized Collision Investigation Detail (SCID) to the incident. The California Highway Patrol Southern Division assisted them with the deployment of specialized personnel and equipment.

Pursuant of policy, the Los Angeles Fire Department has launched a separate formal investigation of the collision.

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department


Paris family said...

This is the most complete report I have seen from a Fire Department on the internet. The Firemen in our town say you guys are good. Now I can see why. Our family is going to Disney this year and hope to see LAFD when we get there.

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