Two Mass. Firefighters Struck, Hurt at Drill

BREWSTER - Witnesses say a decommissioned ambulance used to haul dive equipment for the Dennis Fire Department rolled backward and struck two firefighters at Sheep Pond yesterday, Brewster police Capt. Heath Eldredge said.

The Cape Cod Regional Crash Reconstruction Team is examining the 1990 GMC decommissioned ambulance for any mechanical problems, Dennis Fire Chief Mark Dellner said.

“My concern is to be transparent,” Dellner said. “This was a close call ... We need to learn from these things.”

Dellner said the vehicle had been used by the dive team for four years without incident. He turned over all the maintenance records to the reconstruction team.

The crash reconstruction team and the Brewster police are finishing their investigation on what happened at around 2:15 p.m. Wednesday at the boat ramp at Fisherman's Landing Road leading into Sheep Pond, Eldredge said.

About 20 firefighters from several departments were taking part in a three-day dive rescue training session, Brewster Fire Chief Robert Moran said.

Witnesses told police the former ambulance was parked on the boat ramp when it started moving backward down the ramp and struck the two firefighters, Eldredge said.

The chiefs and the captain would not release all the details of the incident until a report was complete.
Brewster Firefighter-EMT Dan Kimball, 45, was flown to Boston Medical Center after the accident. Doctors there found that Kimball had no traumatic injury or broken bones, Moran said.

Firefighters plan to pick him up at Boston Medical Center this afternoon, when he'll be released, the chief added.

“We're very happy Dan is going to be OK,” Moran said. “He's our union president and we have a nice working relationship.”

Dennis Firefighter-Paramedic Dan O'Connell, a member of the Dennis Fire Department for 17 years, already has been released from Cape Cod Hospital, Dellner said.

Aside from the injured firefighters, the other members of the technical rescue team witnessed the accident and had to provide medical assistance to two of their own.

They received stress-related debriefing services, Dellner said.

“They deal with emergencies all the time,” Dellner said. “But it's a big wake-up call when it's your own.”