Patient Attempts to Steal Portland Fire Unit

When two Portland Fire & Rescue firefighters arrived to help a man who was feeling ill Friday afternoon, the man tried to steal their fire department vehicle.

The two firefighters assigned to Rescue 7 were dispatched to reported sick person around 12:30 p.m.

Rescue 7 is a sport utility vehicle that responds to low priority medical calls, according to Portland Fire & Rescue Lt. Rich Tyler. The vehicle is staffed by a firefighter and a fire-medic.

Tyler said the two found the man on the corner and they began to check his vital signs.

"He said he didn't want to evaluated anymore," Tyler said of the man in his 40s. "He stood up, took the blood pressure cuff off and walked towards the fire truck."

The two firefighters watched the man as he climbed into Rescue 7 and he tried to steal the vehicle.

"He was trying to drive off when one of our guys jumped in to the passenger seat and yanked the keys out."

They radioed for police assistance, telling the dispatcher that someone just tried to steal the department vehicle.

The man got of Rescue 7 and then started walking into traffic. 

The two followed the man to a nearby train station and when police arrived, they took him in to custody.

According to Tyler, the man is facing several charges, including interferring with a firefighter in the performance of his duty.

After talking with police, Tyler said Rescue 7's crew returned to service.