A fire truck that was responding to a collision was struck from behind by a big rig on the Interstate 10 Freeway in Fontana in the early morning hours of June 3, according to the San Bernardino County Fire Department.
At about 2:34 a.m., Medic Engine 76 (ME76) from the Bloomington Fire Station was on the westbound side of the freeway, just east of Sierra Avenue, to safely block the earlier collision when the big rig hit the apparatus from behind, said Battalion Chief Mike McClintock.
All Fire Department personnel were outside of the apparatus when it was struck and were not injured by the secondary collision, McClintock said.
Immediately after the secondary collision, firefighter-paramedics assessed for injuries and provided immediate care to two passengers in the large vehicle. Both parties inside the truck had minor injuries and declined transport.
The apparatus was successful in shielding the original scene, McClintock said.
However, ME76 sustained significant damage, and crews from Station 76 have moved into a reserve apparatus so they can continue to provide service to Bloomington and the surrounding area, McClintock said.
The California Highway Patrol is investigating the cause of both collisions.
âWe are thankful that our firefighters, emergency responders and others on-scene werenât injured this morning in Fontana. While an engine is replaceable, people are not. We are fortunate that this incident had a positive outcome but itâs a great reminder to stay alert while driving and be cautious around incidents on the freeway,” said Assistant Chief Jeff Birchfield, who oversees operations in Division 1, including Fontana.
In 2021, San Bernardino County Fire responded to nearly 10,000 traffic collisions across the vast area, many on highways. County Fire covers hundreds of miles of interstate highways, freeways and local roads over the 19,000 square mile service area.
“Please slow down, use caution and be cautious of first responders working in the roadway,” McClintock said.