A California highway patrol officer handcuffed and detained a firefighter who was treating car crash victims last night after he refused to stop the rescue to move his truck.
The men had both responded to a car crash where a sedan had flipped over a concrete divider on the I-805. When Jacob Gregoir, a firefighter for more than 12 years, arrived at the scene, he parked his firetruck behind the ambulance to provide protection for the emergency responders — something the Chula Vista fire chief said fire crews are trained to do.
But the cop, apparently trying to clear the highway's fast lane, asked firefighters to move their trucks.
The CHP officer, whose name has not been released, told firefighter/engineer Jacob Gregoire to move the engine out of the traffic lane or he would be arrested, Hanneman said. He said Gregoire, who was checking the overturned car for any additional victims, answered that he'd have to check with his captain.
Instead, directly in front of CBS news cameras, the cop decided to handcuff Gregoire and detained him in the back of a squad car for approximately half an hour.
"To detain one of our firefighters in the middle of an incident is ridiculous," Chula Vista Fire Chief Dave Hanneman told CBS.
Supervisors from both agencies had to be called to intervene and Gregoire was eventually released without charges — probably a wise move on the highway patrol's part.
In 2008, a police officer was fined $18,000 after he arrested a firefighter who also refused to move his firetruck during a highway rescue.