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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Closing Hwy 62

At just after seven in the morning we were dispatched to a TC on the Morongo grade with multiple vehicles involved. Since it was at shift change the off going crew jumped into engine 2 and followed. We found that the bridge had iced over and that at least 7 vehicles had wrecked. One person sustained minor injuries. We ended up slipping and sliding all over the place. As I stepped around the front of the engine I started skidding in my turnouts towards and SUV that had hit the center divider (later on Eric would slip and fall none too gracefully in this same spot). I managed to stay on my feet and skated all the way up to the first person. I stopped right at her feet, stood up erect, and introduced myself. She was cracking up and said that she was fine. After checking on everyone and treating the one injured patient we turned our attention to re opening the highway. We called for CalTrans to come salt the road. Soon a few Marines came walking down from their convoy. They helped a bunch by shoveling dirt onto the ice behind several of the stuck vehicles to get them out. The first lady that I talked to later told me that she had photos of several firefighters, a couple of CHP officers and a marine all slipping and falling on the ice. I wish that I could get a hold of those shots. At one point we had to turn around an MBA ambulance trying to go to the trauma center down in Palm Springs.

The view from inside Engine 462. The semi in the oncoming lanes is stuck too.

The view from the other side of the bridge looking at ME461. There is the SUV that I slid up to.

If you look carefully you can see people walking back to their cars. They had hiked back into town during the closure to get coffee.

Some helpful marines with the firefighters.

CalTrans finally making an appearance.


resquemedic51 said...

Great story but I'm a little confused. I thought you left MVFD back in Feb 09. How is it that you are still able to post stories? Just curious.

Firefighter/Paramedic said...

I did leave MVFD in February but I still have several stories that I need to post. Due to the lack of free time while I'm in the fire academy I haven't been posting as often as I like. More coming soon.

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