The friendly rivalry that exists between emergency services boiled over in San Diego yesterday when a police officer placed a fire fighter in handcuffs at the scene of a car crash.
> Video footage from the scene of the accident shows a California Highway Patrol officer arresting Chula Vista fire fighter Jacob Gregoire, 36, after he refused to move a fire engine that was attending to crash victims and shielding the scene from fellow motorists.
The unnamed police officer handcuffed Gregoire and placed him in the back of a police vehicle for around 30 minutes, it has emerged.
ABC 10 managed to obtain audio recordings of emergency services radio exchanges, which revealed the frustration from the rapid response fire team.
"I did not move our engine so it's still in the initial spot, and we're just continuing with patient care," said one fire fighter over the airwaves.
"This is ridiculous. We're in the middle of patient care with patients on the [freeway] and we're trying to protect our scene ... and they're putting him in handcuffs at this time and walking him away."
Gregoire was finally released from the back of the police car after heated phone calls were exchanged between bosses of the respective departments.
CBS 8 reported that California Highway Patrol (CHP) Chief issued a statement following the events that read: "Both the CHP and the Chula Vista Fire Department share a common goal of protecting the public and providing the highest level of safety to responding emergency personnel, involved parties and other drivers at collision scenes."
It went on: "Both of our agencies have the utmost respect for each other and our respective missions. This was an isolated incident and not representative of the manner in which our agencies normally work together toward our common goal.
"This morning representatives from both agencies met to discuss the incident to improve communication and ensure the highest level of service is provided to the public. This incident will be a topic of future joint training sessions, in an on going effort to work more efficiently together."