Highway 9 is an ordinary Arkansas country road. It has turn after turn but Sunday morning a Choctaw firefighter took a turn for the worse on the state highway.
“My heart just sunk,” says Choctaw Fire Chief Lamar Harvey.
Harvey says his volunteer firefighter was headed to a house fire when he lost control, rolled over multiple times and crashed into a creek. The firefighter was taken to a hospital with only cuts and bruises.
“I knew it was one of my trucks. I don’t want to say disturbing but that’s exactly what it was,” says Harvey.
Former firefighter Steven Strickland says the tanker truck is worth about $160,000 and the department is already working to replace it.
Tanker trucks are like mobile fire hydrants carrying thousands of gallons of water.
“In rural fire departments, fire hydrants are scattered throughout the county. They can be miles apart from one another,” says Strickland.
While the Choctaw Fire Department continues to respond to emergencies, the chief says he would rather be down a truck than a firefighter.
“Everyday, we put our lives on the line for nothing,” says Harvey.
Officials are not releasing the firefighter’s name involved in the accident only that he’s been with the department for less than a year.