‘A lot of these are preventable’: Fire chief speaks out after recent crashes of vehicles into firetrucks

A firetruck was struck by a car in Montgomery County, Maryland. (Courtesy Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service)

A local fire chief says recent crashes of cars into firetrucks can be avoided if drivers pay more attention to the road.

Last week, two firetrucks were struck in the D.C. area by cars while they were responding to calls.

On Wednesday, a firetruck was struck by a car while it was on the scene of another car crash in Montgomery County. And a similar incident happened in Prince George’s County on Thursday when a firetruck was on the scene responding to a call and a car struck it from behind, and a member of the fire department had to be evaluated for their injuries as a result.

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service Chief Scott Goldstein said drivers need to stay alert.

“Frequently we see people swerve around something that they didn’t pay attention for and then strike what was there, meaning the piece of fire apparatus,” Goldstein said. “A lot of these are preventable. They’re in daytime, straight road segments. And we have resources out there, fire trucks with tons of lights on them.”

He said he understands drivers are in a hurry to get to their destination, but he says getting there safely is just as important for everyone on the road.

“Slow down, pay attention, stop being distracted, and commute safely,” Goldstein said. “Focusing on the road won’t make a difference in your getting to your location on time.”

WTOP’s Mike Murillo contributed to this report. 

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

Capital News Service is a student-staffed news wire and broadcast news service operated by the University of Maryland’s Merrill College of Journalism. © 2021 Capital News Service. All Rights Reserved.

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