YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (KDKA/AP) – Officials say an Ohio firefighter was shot and wounded while in a firetruck at the scene of a house fire.
The Youngstown firefighter was hit in the leg when someone fired shots as crews were wrapping up work at a fire scene Monday night.
The area was searched, but no suspect was immediately identified. At least two bullet holes were found in the truck.
Fire Chief John O’Neill says it left firefighters alarmed, and authorities are investigating whether it was a targeted shooting. O’Neill says Youngstown police will accompany firefighters to fire scenes for now.
The injured firefighter was taken to a hospital and is expected to fully recover.
This shooting has the attention of firefighters all over, including here in Pittsburgh.
“If this is a situation where people are targeting firefighters and being violent against firefighters, that’s a new dynamic, and that’s troubling,” said Darryl Jones, Ph.D., the Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire chief.
While Youngstown is now sending police on every fire run, Jones says in Pittsburgh, “it’s a matter of the nature of the call … Anytime the dispatcher gets any indication or information there’s a form of violence or weapons are involved, we get notified about that, and we stage until the police can make the scene safe.”
There is no policy in Pittsburgh to send police on every call, but Jones says, “for certain calls, police are automatically notified.”
And more times than not, he adds, police are on the scene first.
“They will tell us whether the building is fully involved, reports of entrapment, reports of injuries,” Jones said.
Firefighters who spoke to KDKA’s John Shumway indicated there is a good relationship between Pittsburgh firefighters and Pittsburgh police, and that more often than not, firefighters are accompanied by police on their scenes.
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