A firefighter was arrested by a CHP officer in South Bay, Calif. Tuesday in the middle of answering a distress call on a highway. The firefighter was busy giving emergency aid to a passenger in a car accident and didn't heed the police officer's command to move the fire truck, so he was detained.
The firefighter that was arrested by the CHP officer was Jacob Gregoire, a 36-year-old that has been with the Chula Vista fire department for 2-and-a-half years. Gregoire had parked the truck across multiple lanes to make sure the scene was safe for emergency crews, and refused to move the truck to allow traffic to pass as per California Highway Patrol protocol.
"It's unbelievable you have to do this," the unidentified police officer said while slapping cuffs on Gregoire.
"It's unbelievable that you guys have to treat us like this," the firefighter responded. "We are on the road trying to help people."
"We asked you," the cop shot back. "We asked you to clear the road and you said no, and you are getting arrested for not moving it."
The victims of the crash were taken to a local hospital, and Gregoire was released from the back of the police cruiser about 30 minutes later. However, the video of the incident garnered a large and immediate backlash from many, including Chula Vista Fire Chief Dave Hanneman, who explained that the CHP and firefighters are fundamentally at odds with their priorities after an accident.
"To detain one of our firefighters in the middle of an incident is ridiculous," Hanneman told The Inquisitr. "It doesn't provide the good customer service, the good public service that both of our agencies are there to do."
"I know clearing the freeway is a priority for the CHP. Our number one priority is the safety of our firefighters and patients," he added.
After the incident, both CHP and the fire department released a joint statement, saying that what happened was an "isolated incident" and would not occur again. Neither department has released the name of the police officer, though, or if he was disciplined regarding his behavior.