Skip to comments.Firefighters accused of road rage incident
Posted on 06/09/2011 11:46:46 PM PDT by LibWhacker
ORANGE COUNTY, Florida (NBC) -- A Florida firefighter has been fired and another has been demoted in connection with a road rage incident in Orange County.
Fire officials said a video was released showing Orange County fire engineer David Jordan driving a 15-ton truck and tailgating a car, whose driver wouldn't move over, last May 1.
Investigators said Jordan nearly hits the car several times, even though he has room to go around the car.
The car then gets into the left turn lane, which investigators said, by law it should have pulled off on the right shoulder and stopped for the emergency vehicle.
Still, the right two lanes are clear for the fire truck to pass.
Instead, Jordan swerves left, cutting off the car, so the lieutenant can flip off the driver, fire officials said.
Fire officials said the fire truck hit a curb after nearly hitting the car, which could have caused a crash and injured or killed the four firefighters on board and people nearby.
Jordan's boss, Lt. Thomas Veal, was seated on the passenger side and was not wearing a seat belt, fire officials said.
"I don't know what the actual road rage definition is, but would I say it's overly aggressive? Yes. We're not going to tolerate that here," said Orange County Fire and Rescue Division Chief Brian Morrow. "They're very, very lucky it was a near miss. They didn't roll the truck and they never would have made it to the call."
Morrow said Jordan, a 22-year fire department veteran, was fired while Veal was demoted to firefighter just months after being called a hero in a Christmas Day fire.
Supervisors said Veal made two big mistakes: He was not wearing a seat belt and did not order Jordan to lay off.
"We felt the company officer should have a grasp what was going on," said Morrow.
"We have to be the professionals and the calm ones," said Felix Benitez, trustee of the Orlando Professional Firefighters International Association of Firefighters Local 1365 Union. "We need to be cautious when getting to an emergency, so we don't create another emergency."
Jordan may appeal the firing in the next week.
Veal can also contest the demotion.
The fire department said it doesn't know the identity of the driver who was caught up in the road rage incident.
The rig did get damaged and had to temporarily be taken out of service.
BTW, since they have this on video did they cite the driver of the vehicle that didn't pull over? Probably not. The firefighters were wrong to lose it but the other guy should have been fined at the very least since his actions actually precipitated the incident.
It aint just fire fighters that have this problem.
-Today a car driving slowly up the mountain with a long line of cars behind them never once used a turnout.
-And what about the knucklheads the drive in the fast lane going the same speed as the guy in the next lane over. Are they totally oblivious to the snarl they create behind them and the danger they create!
If I was a policeman I'd pull em over even if I could not write them a ticket. I'd take their license, tear it up and tell them to walk home...20 miles, in the snow...up hill both ways...jeeeezzzz!...and then they could fire me and it would still be worth it.
By tailgating the car the fire truck driver blocked the car driver’s rearview and side mirrors so they would be unable to tell if it was safe to move over into the right lane. So they moved over to the left turn lane when one was available.
I bet the driver was a woman, was totally frightened by the fire truck on her tail and was driving in panic mode. The fire truck driver is a total putz. I hope his azz stays fired.
An actual policeman would also taser'em and shoot their dog, and most definitely would not be fired. Haven't you heard of the big blue lie? America is a police state now.
Firing this guy is a little harsh. Take him down from his driver’s job and put him on the back step, with his lieutenant.
I had a guy once who wouldn’t pull over and decided to run ahead of the Apparatus, He ran ahead until he hit Georgia Ave. stop light and met a bus coming through on the Green.
To say you cannot hear a big rig today, when that rig is blowing a Federal siren and blowing an air horn is impossible unless you are deaf.
I would have gone around this idiot on the right, but it is a move that has to be made cautiously as the idiot is likely to turn right at the same time you do.
As Wagon Driver for 17 years in a big city I encountered practically everything. The idea is to get to the fire fast with the least amount of danger to your crew.One rule is to never get right on the bumper of a car that may at any time jam the brakes on and make you eat his back end. When you do that you are just increasing your chance’s of hitting that car and you minimize your options of taking another path. Driving a 14 ton Piece of equipment and tailgating a car is asking for trouble.Flipping the bird to civilians isn’t bright move either nd I never did it. Actually I was more intent on looking for the next idiot, and getting to where I was going ,than taking my hands off the wheel to use one to flip some idiot off.Driving Fire Apparatus is a job that requires your full attention at all times while responding.It’s enough to be thinking of the location,position due, where is the alley if due in the rear, Which side of the street is the building on especially when you are due in the rear. Being on the wrong side of the street in an alley across the street from the fire is not only embarrassing, but it puts you out of the picture. Where is the plug, what other equipment responding uses a route that may cross your own.
Many things are going through a Wagon Driver’s head, more than most people can imagine, there is no time for getting pissed off.
I drove a fire truck in Central Florida years ago and the thing weighed so much, we could barely get it up to 50mph. Out in the boondocks, we would be on our way to a call with the pedal to the metal, and people would be passing us on long 2-lane stretches of highway, because we were not going fast enough.
I see a lot of drivers who don’t pull over for emergency vehicles, and nine out of ten are on their $%^& cell phones. Dumb people are everywhere.
You bring up a very good point with that comment. I stay way back from 18 wheelers so I can see what is on the road ahead. That is one reason many of them have the:
If you can't see my mirrors, I can't see you.
on their rear doors.
I drive an emergency vehicle. This driver is an idiot.
Bad reporting. The law in Florida says nothing about pulling over to the right curb. It talks about yielding “right of way” but that’s the only reference to ‘right’.
If an investigator did, indeed, say that then he or she needs to go back to school for a few hours and refresh their knowledge of Florida law and yielding to emergency vehicles.