Firefighter Works To Help Victims At California Crash Scene . . . Police Officer Arrests Firefighter When He Refuses To Stop To Move Truck

24637357_BG1-620x348The California Highway Police appear to have spent little time in making an arrest in a recent crash in Chula Vista, California. Unfortunately, the officer arrested a fire fighter who was struggling to help the seriously injured driver and other victims.

On Tuesday night, a police officer ordered a fire fighter to move his truck out of the center divide of the road and the fire fighter said that he was too busy saving the life of the driver. The officer then arrested the firefighter and put him in handcuffs in the cruiser for half an hour. He sat there while victims needed attention and the officer then released him.

Chula Vista Fire Department Chief Dave Hanneman objected to the “ridiculous” arrest, though he sounded a bit like the Sprint manager of a phone bank: “It doesn’t provide the good customer service, the good public service that both of our agencies are there to do.”

A meeting is planned today between the California Highway Patrol and Chula Vista Fire Department to “work out” the incident like two rivaling gangs. I would just be careful where I parked if I were with the CVFD.

48 thoughts on “Firefighter Works To Help Victims At California Crash Scene . . . Police Officer Arrests Firefighter When He Refuses To Stop To Move Truck”

  1. I just read these blog idiots responses and it’s pathetic how ignorant people truly are. To bring up race etc. because a firefighter was arrested for not moving a vehicle???? Seriously, I think the people comment like this are the obvious racist. How ignorant do you have to be to call every man with a shaved head a skin head. FYI genius, I guarantee there is more to the story than some rogue cop arresting a firefighter, but that would get near the response from you short tempered dimwits.
    I don’t even like cops but I like your ignorance even less.

  2. Yankee –

    Sounds like you’ve had a full career on the mean streets. I never had a cop pull a weapon on me, but I can think of a couple who maybe wanted to.

    Probably the stickiest cases out there for a medic is on an ‘officer-involved-shooting.’ The fellows in uniform can be real twitchy.

    I’ve come to the ugly conclusion that an awful lot of cop shenanigans mirror an awful lot of physician boners: I suspect many decent folks get into the business for the right reasons. I submit that the job itself distorts normal levels of behavior and empathy.

    And we read the results every single day.

  3. YF,
    You missed one level of triage regarding the shoes. Both shoes are still planted on the pavement, with feet still in them.

    High speed impact + coefficient of friction of tennis shoe soles on pavement ≥ tensile strength of ankle = dead before the body hits the ground X feet down the road.

    She was walking along a rural road, hand in hand with her husband of four days. Faulkner County Arkansas, 1960. He was untouched except for the bruise on his hand from when her 19-year-old hand was jerked from his hand. I saw her picture. She had been pretty, but the casket had to be closed.

    Not the only time I have seen that phenomenon, but that one has stayed with me.

    1. Nick –

      The book should be out the first week of April. The title is, “The Pedigree of a Paramedic Heretic.”

      As for the material within, here is an example:

      You may recall 2 years ago when a fellow waded out into the freezing San Francisco Bay, intent on committing suicide. He stood out there in chin-deep water until he passed out and drowned. It took 52 minutes. During that time, 8 Alameda PD officers; 2 fire crews and a Paramedic team, along with about 45 others, watched the man die. Eventually a woman bystander got so frustrated she went out and pulled his body to the shoreline. Not one rescuer went into the water. Why? It was against Alameda Fire, Alameda PD and AMR Paramedic policy to perform a water rescue.

      The #1 priority on a rescue is ‘policy.’ #2 is team safety. #3 is safety of bystanders. The patient comes somewhere after that.

      It is as honest an assessment of the EMS business as I can muster.

      Thank you for asking.

  4. I’m sickened by the irrelevant use of arrest authority based clearly on ego rather than a full understanding of emergency responder safety!

  5. Bron, very complex question. 1963, no thought to crash survivability when designing cars. Most people die prior to the hospital, most likely still trapped in the car.

    1973, some thought, along with some traffic study determinations on changing the course of roadways. There’s a new concept of hydraulic rescue tools, being used off the racetrack. Most people die prior to the hospital. Most likely still trapped in the car.

    1983, the standardization of the EMT program has existed for half a decade. The conception of “The Golden Hour” meaning the time it takes for you to receive in-hospital level care is born.
    In some areas advanced EMT programs exist or are being started.
    The Hurst “Jaws of Life” and other competing brands are becoming more commonplace.
    Old post-and-cable guard rails are being replaced with Armco barrier technology.
    You stand a fair chance of making it to the hospital.

    1993, improvements to auto design, road design, road barriers lessens the splatter-factor. EMTs and advanced EMTs are more commonplace, as are improved pre-hospital care tools. The chance of being extricated in under 20 minutes from equipment arrival has improved. Your odds on making it to the hospital, alive have doubled in ten years.

    2003, air bags and the concept of the disposable car with impact absorbing zones, doubles your chances of surviving an accident. The “Jersey Barrier” replaces the Armco barrier in some locations. Still not infallible, and your worst case scenario remains vehicles meeting from opposite or intersecting directions.

    2013, “the air bag went off” is now defined by “all of them”? The ability to use hydraulic rescue tools is diminished, due to the presence of explosive cartridges in the door, roof supports, and dashboard areas. Unless you’re in a “smashed foil” wreck, you can probably walk, or be assisted away.

    In 1980 I had a .357 pulled on me by a police officer, when a young lady was hit by a passing car @ 55mph.
    She was crouched-down, looking for her keys, which she had dropped (under her car).
    Slightly intoxicated, wearing all black, save a silver bangle belt, the vehicle operator had no warning that she was 3 feet into his lane, nor was she facing oncoming traffic. She landed 107 feet from her shoes.
    Both shoes.
    With hundreds of fractures (determined by x-ray at autopsy) she died moments after arriving at the hospital. Fulfilling my first rule of trauma triage:
    no shoes = no expectations of life, one shoe = you stand a chance, both shoes = how was the ride?

    Back to our Civil Servant:
    The wild-eyed officer’s message: “She dies, you die.”
    He, not of that jurisdiction, was told by the local police officer (an EMT) to “stop being an ass”.
    We had heated words thereafter.
    For the next 8 years of his career, I’d see that gun out repeatedly.
    Knee-JERK response, instilled by poor training for moments of perceived danger to himself or the public.

    Intoxicated man standing in traffic? Pull your revolver.
    Woman delivering a baby on the third floor stairs? Pull your revolver.
    Psychotic episode in the mall? Pull your revolver.
    Suicide by train? Pull your revolver.
    With a change of Police Chief, his career was ended by “retirement”.

    How did he survive all the complaints? The old-fashioned way.
    Intimidate at gunpoint any witnesses; and tell your boss also your father-in-law, how bullshit these accusations are.

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