Friendly Fire: Elderly Man OK After Being Struck by a Fire Hose

October 5, 2011

There are some events that move from the bizarre to the improbable, and an incident on Park Avenue and Dale Street last Friday easily outdistances both categories.

“We’re really talking about a freak accident here,” said Fire Chief Gene Doherty, describing the scene where an elderly man was hit by a fire hose accidentally being dragged by a fire truck.

The fire engine motored up Park Avenue just after lunch last Friday as it headed to a call at the Prospect House.

Somehow, without official explanation as of yet, the fire hose on that engine began to unravel after the truck hit a pothole on Park Avenue.

The hose quickly unfurled to its full length – some 25 feet or more.

It flailed wildly as the engine dragged it down the street at a relatively rapid clip.

No one on the engine noticed right off.

By all accounts, it was extremely unusual.

At the same time, a 70-year-old Park Avenue man decided to take advantage of the sunny afternoon. He set out for a walk and some fresh air.

As he strolled down Park Avenue, making the turn onto Dale Street, the fire engine came up the street and made the same turn.

Following it though, was a treacherous tail – namely, the wildly flailing fire hose.

According to Fire Chief Gene Doherty, the hose made contact with the man’s leg, sending him directly to the ground, where he took a header into the concrete.

“As they turned the corner the hose hit the guy in the legs and knocked him to the ground and he hit his head,” said the chief. “He had lacerations and scrapes and was transported to Mass General in Boston.

“It was unbelievable,” continued the chief. “It was sickening to see that happen to someone. It appeared the hose slipped off and the firefighters on the apparatus didn’t know it. They were waved down by someone down the street and they were made aware of the guy who was down on the ground.”

Several neighbors in the area were alerted to the problem as the hose fell onto Dale Street and also took out a trash barrel on the sidewalk.

“I saw the guy on the ground,” said one neighbor. “We all thought he was dead until he started groaning.”

Doherty said the man was injured, but none of the injuries were life-threatening.

As for a solution to the situation, Doherty said that a similar incident happened a few years back on an older engine that was stationed on Ford Street.

No one was hurt in any of those incidents though, and this was a newer engine that wasn’t supposed to have that problem.

Meanwhile, the Department’s mechanic on Monday was installing some netting around all of the hoses on the engine in question, preventing any similar problems from occurring.

  • ReneeK771

    Maybe The RFD & RPD shouldnt react with such urgency & choose the nature of the call with driving a bit slower to protect our  children,elders & all residents walking,playing or simply enjoying a walk!
    No one wants to ever be injured,nor do we need to worry of the hero’s whom protect,serve & care for us at best as our lovely BEST of all, BRAVE”supportive”  FIREMEN & our BEST of all CARING LAW PROTECTING OFFICERS.I appreciate all they do/done & will continue to do,but i do find some of the urgencies they race off to are putting us in further danger.Iv personally have had many calls for 911 with my kids & heart disease or asthma or just simple medical issues of urgent need,I find they do race quite often to calls & Its a huge imporatance to us they do but we dont want one race to us to cause another urgency to possible disaster with the speed on way here.,

    I must say,I live across street from a local nursing home,in which we know they’re equppied with about everything possible or needed to save ones life as it is a hosp with doctors & all in buildibng but when they call 911 several times per day due to a fall out of bed or the final goodbye to the elder person whom just passed,I dont understand this as there’s several kids,people,drivers on road & i know to each of us it’s like hurry fastest save us,but for this situation mentioned to me it’s just pointless to RACE there putting sooooo many others on sidewalks,in cars or just out in general,we’re all at risk when the firetrucks act as if it’s a do or die matter.I know this as im pretty much ahouse away & its endangering us all!Plus our PETS! OUR KIDS/FAMILY are top concern but why not keep all neighborhoods safe & base the call on the urgency & when it’s a fetal call,react,as i think it’s of course only right but have that 2nd passenger to blow a horn alerting others kids & WATCHING for flying hoses or any equipment off the truck.Something should be better planned.As im not pleased with the runs to an elderly center when most 80% of the time the patient from the nursing home dont even get taken to hosp nor do they leave the nursing home.It scares the heck out of us daily with our kids/pets & the need for urgency sometimes is most definately questionable

    Dont get me/us wrong,we appreciate it,i just think everyone needs to slow it down a bit & the nature of the urgent call shall describle the urgency of the arrival of help & the drive should then be based on speed accordingly to the seriousness nature of each call!
    I do love my firemen & police officers!
    IS There such thing?
    It sounds good & makes sense but i know to each of us,our loved ones are always an urgency as we truly have no idea.So we do want you to serve each family with the same as Id want fastest service but if it’s an obvious less of a matter,no need to drive fastest losing hoses or tools or anything that puts others at risk

    Be safe all of you,
    God Bless everyone

    Im not saying it’s of anyones fault here,i know accidents of freaky things can happen & clearly do happen i just wish we could all figure out new ways of keeping up on safety habits…..

    To the elder man whom got injured,I’m so glad your ok! May God Bless you today & always & stay STRONG!! Your a hero with how you took such a fall!
    We know our firemen would NEVER harm anyone,There jobs say so,there rescue hereo’s!
    So keep this in mind,accidents can happen no matter what it is.I can say our departments are wonderful & are most def devistated this ever happened!
    WE still LOVE ALL YOU Fire Fighters! & know it was a freak accident,they sadly do occur atleast this has a good ending with  strong active man!Bless all 🙂

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