SCHERTZ, TEXAS – Out of service for the foreseeable future, with the front passenger side badly damaged along with its aerial platform and bucket, a Schertz Fire Department platform truck “served its purpose,” said John Perry, battalion chief.
Perry said no one was hurt, including the driver of the rig that hit the fire truck, and none of the first responders who were about 50 to 75 yards away.
Perry said it was the first of two fire trucks typically used to shield first responders working accidents on a usually busy, and sometimes dangerous, Interstate 35.
About 3 a.m. Wednesday, the platform truck with its lights flashing in the rain, was protecting first responders clearing a jacknifed rig on I-35 North, just before the FM 1103 exit, when another 18-wheeler slammed into the front of the truck.
Witnesses told Schertz Police that it appeared the driver was “in a hurry.” He was cited at the scene.
“You hear about incidents involving first responders on the roadway across the nation,” Perry said. “I don’t want to think about what may or could have happened if that unit wasn’t there.”
After they heard what sounded “almost like an explosion” when it hit, Perry said his first thought was, “Is everyone OK?” Fortunately, he said, a tragedy was averted.
Although it’s unknown right now whether the truck will be replaced, Perry said the Schertz Fire Department has another platform truck and it has mutual aid agreement with other surrounding communities.
The cost of the truck or a damage estimate was not immediately available.
Perry said this should serve as a reminder to drivers whenever they see emergency vehicles at accidents.
“Pay attention when you’re behind the wheel. Slow down. Move over,” he said.