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Ohio fire marshal suffers medical emergency, crashes pickup into station

“Our guys did exactly what they were trained to do,” Vermilion Fire Chief Bill Brown said, describing how firefighters, officers and EMS providers responded


Photo/City of Vermilion

By Leila Merrill

VERMILION, Ohio — Vermilion’s fire marshal is recovering after he suffered a medical emergency and crashed his truck into Fire Station 1 on Monday evening.

Fire Marshal Rodney Johnston was arriving for weekly training, lost control of the pickup and crashed it through the front doors of the station, according to a city of Vermilion Facebook post.

Johnston remained conscious, and firefighters and police officers at the station rendered aid.

“It could have been a lot worse,” Fire Chief Bill Brown told the Morning Journal. “But our guys did exactly what they were trained to do.”

There was a delay in finding an available ambulance. Firefighters called on a neighboring department in Vermilion Township.

EMS providers transported Johnston to Mercy Health-Lorain Hospital, Brown said.

The station sustained approximately $10,000 of damage, Brown said.

“I was also overwhelmed by the VFD and VPD staff at the scene who expressed sincere concern for their long-time colleague. We all wish Fire Marshal Johnston a quick recovery,” the city’s mayor said in the Facebook post.