Mike Wilbur


HOENIX, AZ (3TV/CBS5) —  Following a suspected drunk driving crash that totaled a Phoenix fire truck, the Phoenix Fire Department is short of a fire rig during its busiest time of year.

[WATCH: DUI crash totals Phoenix fire truck]

On June 1, several firefighters avoided catastrophe after a suspected drunk driver careened into the back of their truck as it was parked along I-10 and 67th Avenue.

[RELATED: FD: Phoenix firefighter and man hurt after crash on I-10 at 67th Avenue]

The crash was so hard that it forced debris dangerously close to the truck’s massive gas tank.

“The truck could’ve exploded,” said Capt. Rob McDade, Phoenix Fire. “It could’ve caused a fire.”

The driver of the car wasn’t badly hurt, but is now facing drunk driving charges.

For the Phoenix Fire Dept.,  the impact of the crash goes far beyond the enormous dents in truck.

Faced with a totaled rig, Phoenix Fire is now down a rig during the summer fire season.

“It’s close. It’s a razor thin margin,” Capt. McDade said, regarding the department’s available trucks.

To make sure every available truck is freed up for service, Phoenix fire workers said it’ll be all hands on deck, with maintenance workers being brought in beyond normal service hours.

“We’re gonna have mechanics working on transmissions, shocks, air conditioners at three in the morning, 24 hour shifts of mechanics. It’s the only way we can get it done,” said Capt. McDade.

This totaled rig had been with Phoenix Fire since 2003, according to the department.

Despite its absence this summer, the fire department insists it will be able to handle emergencies, both big and small.

Follow Us