A dozen firefighters were injured last night, five seriously - including the first woman in the department's history to join an elite rescue squad - when a pair of Manhattan fire trucks collided, officials said.
One of the engines was shooting down Seventh Avenue at 6:30 p.m. when it smashed into the other, which was headed east on West 10th Street in Greenwich Village.
Both were speeding to a call that later proved to be a false alarm, sources said.
"The truck [from Squad 18] that hit the pole caught on fire and they pulled out one firefighter who looked pretty banged up," said a bystander who declined to give his name.
JEMS Editor-in-Chief, A.J. Heightman, MPA, EMT-P, comments on this MCI: The only thing worse than going to a mass-casualty incident (MCI) that should not have ever happened is to go to one that involves your own personnel. As you ll see from this costly accident in Manhattan, two FDNY rigs collided at an intersection and injured 12 firefighters, five seriously en route to what turned out to be a false alarm.
You can avoid incidents of this nature, and serious injuries that can result from them, by ensuring:
- All personnel wear their seatbelts at all times;
- You listen during dispatch to determine where nearby apparatus are responding from;
- You keep a widow of your apparatus cracked open slightly so you can hear the sirens and air horns of other approaching apparatus, and
- You always have your apparatus at a near-complete stop at all stop signs and red lights before proceeding through an intersection.