A Long Island fire chief saved the lives of several firefighters Saturday when he pulled his car into the path of an alleged drunk driver who was careening directly toward them.
First Deputy Chief Lee Strickland of the Manhasset-Lakeville Fire Department in Nassau County, New York said the crew had just come back from a fire call at about 2 a.m. Saturday morning. He was sitting in his marked chief's car while the crew backed the apparatus into the bay, with several firefighters directing traffic on the four-lane thoroughfare.
"When I'm there, I usually watch and make sure everything's ok," Strickland said. It was a good thing he did. As he sat watching and blocking one lane, the chief saw a speeding vehicle that was clearly ignoring the firehouse traffic signal and the warning lights. "All of a sudden here he comes," the chief said. "It was high-speed."
With only a few seconds to react, Strickland inched his car over to block part of the next lane. He heard the driver's brakes lock and watched him continue to skid toward the firefighters. "I knew he was gonna get them," he said. "I steered my car in front of his and had a high speed, glancing blow."
The chief's car took the hit on the driver's door and deflected the other vehicle off to the side of the road, protecting the firefighters and the apparatus. No one was seriously injured, but Strickland suffered some back pain. "We would have had dead guys all over the place," the chief said. "At least two of them.... I did what I had to do."
Strickland said his car is getting checked to determine the severity of the damage. "I was pretty nervous after that, thinking about our guys," he said. "You want to make sure everybody goes home after a call."
The Nassau County Police Department's Sixth Precinct responded and did a sobriety test on the scene, which the driver failed, the chief said.
Police Sergeant Tony Repalone said the 23-year-old driver of the 2001 Nissan was arrested and charged with driving under the influence. A passenger fought about it with the police and was charged with resisting arrest.
Strickland said he is just glad that he was there. "I made it through Vietnam, and boy, you don't have to tell me twice about having guardian angels," he said.
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Thread: This is called bravery
04-08-2003, 01:00 PM #1
- Join Date
- Jan 2003
- Trumbull, CT
This is called bravery
04-08-2003, 01:28 PM #2
- Join Date
- Apr 2002
- Austin, TX
Kudos to the chief...remarkable bravery!
04-08-2003, 01:49 PM #3
Chief, you're a good man, a good man."Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.Ē
--General James Mattis, USMC
04-08-2003, 01:57 PM #4
i read that today and i just had to show all my firefighter friends becuase that is a true HERO in action. He should feel very very proud of himself and the firefighters should be very thankful that they have a cheif that looks out for them all the time-JEFF G
"Have Jaws, Will Travel"
04-08-2003, 04:15 PM #5
jeff i feel offended u didnt show me o well i already saw it. that is remarkable on what he did for his men. my hat goes off for him.
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