Four firefighters riding in a truck that rolled over Sunday afternoon escape major injury. Our Matt Hunter has more on the impact the accident will have on the department's ability to answer calls while the truck is out of commission.
QUEENSBURY, N.Y. – The four Bay Ridge Volunteer Fire Company members riding in Engine Tanker 322 Sunday afternoon had already finished work on their most recent call when, suddenly, they became the ones in need of emergency assistance.
"Our crew was returning from an emergency call," Assistant Fire Chief Chip Mellon said Monday morning. "It's a narrow road and a vehicle was approaching them from the other direction, and our driver tried to avoid a collision and by going to the right."
Narrowly avoiding collision, the massive vehicle veered off Clements Road.
"He caught the soft shoulder, and the vehicle went down over the embankment and rolled onto its passenger side," Mellon said.
According to Mellon, all four firefighters sustained minor injuries and had to be taken to the hospital, but all have since been released.
"From all accounts, it could have been catastrophic,” he said, "if they had been in a different location or the accident happened a different way."
The morning crews spent several hours pulling the tanker from the ditch. Representatives from the manufacturer visited the fire company to assess the damage.
"From what we can tell, there's some damage to the cab, damage to the body. Some of the equipment has been damaged," Mellon said.
Purchased just last August for $700,000, the accident temporarily leaves the department without its primary tool.
"It carries all of our hydraulic rescue equipment for motor vehicle accidents, some of our hazardous materials equipment and all of our structural firefighting equipment," Mellon said.
Until the truck is repaired, the company will answer calls with its two backup engines and rely on assistance from smaller mutual aid companies nearby.
"We have a plan in place. We're looking that this could be several months that the truck's going to be out of service," Mellon said.