Miami Firefighter Suspended Over Apparatus Accident

A firefighter in the City of Miami has been given a four-day unpaid suspension for his role in an apparatus accident last August that injured twelve people, including seven firefighters.

Gustavo Alzate, a Miami firefighter for two years, was driving an EMS unit when it collided with an engine company. Both units were responding to different locations on separate runs with lights and sirens. The force of the collision caused the engine company roll on its side.

The August 11, 2015 accident was caught on traffic cameras. Seven firefighters, three civilians in the ambulance, and two civilians in an adjacent vehicle were injured. Two investigations into the accident placed the blame on Alzate because he ran the red light without stopping or at least slowing down to avoid the engine.

According to Assistant Chief Pete Game :”The engine company was heading southbound on 12th Avenue, responding to a reported house fire. As the rescue approached, the engine company had the green light southbound, the rescue did not yield to the engine company and collided.”

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About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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