Firefighter hurt by distracted driver urges public to pay attention

Firefighter Meredith Garee was on a fire truck ladder when a driver ran into the rig, causing injury to Garee’s arm

By FireRescue1 Staff

AUSTIN, Texas — A firefighter is urging drivers to pay attention after she was hurt when a vehicle crashed into a fire truck.

KXAN reported that Austin Fire Department firefighter Meredith Garee was on a fire truck ladder when a vehicle crashed into the back of the rig. The bumper of the truck fell off and Garee’s arm was injured.

“My arm hit over here and I held on and it kind of threw me backward,” Garee said. “Luckily, I was hanging on.”

Garee said the incident could have been much worse.

“It’s really, really scary to think, what if [the driver] had been two feet over and I had been standing on the ground,” she said.

Austin Fire Chief Thayer Smith said these close calls are occurring regularly.

“I believe one of the most dangerous things we do is sending our crew out on the highways,” Chief Smith said.

Garee is now urging drivers to focus on the road to keep first responders safe.

“Pay attention to the road,” she said. “Pay attention to other drivers and give those responders the space to do what they need to do.”

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