ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque firefighters are worried they won’t make it home from work, because of dangerous drivers.
Firefighters said it’s difficult to protect the people they serve when they’re worried about their own safety. In two week’s time, two AFR engines have been struck by vehicles while crews were helping victims of other crashes on I-40.
An SUV rear-ended Engine 14, leaving it severely damaged. Fortunately, there were no firefighters standing nearby at the time. Then 12 days later, a semi slammed into Engine 12, leaving it and the engine smashed.
Firefighters said the interstates are the most dangerous places to work.
“From Coors and I-40 to basically all the way through the city,” said Sonny Sefton, who drives Engine 4. “But busy times are of course in the morning during rush hour, and we experience a high volume of car accidents from I-40 and Rio Grande to the Big I.”
He wants drivers to remember to slow down, pay attention and obey the laws of the road, and move over a lane when first responders are working.
The two fire engines were totaled in the crash. AFR officials said replacing an engine costs between $500,000 to $600,000.
Officials said in 2019, 44 first responders in the country were killed while working calls on the freeway. They said so far this year there have already been seven deaths.