GFR responds to mass casualty incident with multi-disciplinary response

Press release from Gainesville Fire Rescue

At 4:10 p.m. today, several 911 calls were received regarding a crash with five total patients, one of whom was entrapped inside their vehicle at 2706 W. University Ave. Gainesville Fire Rescue (GFR) units from Stations 1, 2, 4, and 8 responded to assist. Compounding the incident, one of the vehicles, a work truck pulling a trailer, collided with a home just off University Ave., and two vehicles were leaking fuel into a culvert under one of the wrecked vehicles. “This was a very challenging call requiring multiple disciplines and close coordination,” said Incident Commander, District Chief Mike Steele.  

As GFR crews went to work, truck company and squad crews began extricating the entrapped occupant, engine company crews provided fire stand-by due to the leaking fuel and started patient care and packaging, HazMat crews dammed the culvert and contained the remaining fuel, and technical rescue crews began searching the home and assessing the structural stability of the involved structure.

Assistant Fire Chief Joseph Hillhouse said the incident is a great example why GFR strives to maintain itself as an “all hazards department.” GFR’s specialties in EMS, Fire, tactical medicine, HazMat response, technical rescue, Aircraft Rescue Firefighting, and community medicine enable the department to seamlessly expand their incident presence, regardless of the emergency, to meet the citizens’ needs and the department’s mission of “…rapid intervention by professionals committed to excellence.”    

Two patients were transported from the scene to UF Health, one in critical condition. The cause of the crash is still under investigation by the Gainesville Police Department. Chief Steele said the crews’ thoughts and prayers go out to the patients and family of those injured in the crash.

Gainesville Fire Rescue would like to remind everyone to drive safely, obey all traffic laws including the posted speed limits, and always wear your seatbelts.