Four Sebastopol firefighters were taken to hospital and one has a fractured vertebrae after a car failed to give way to them in the early hours of Thursday.
The men were in an LP gas support vehicle on the way to a house fire in Linton, driving with emergency lights on, and rolled “two or three times” at the Post Office Road and Sebastopol-Smythesdale Road intersection.
The driver of the dual-cab ute, a 57-year-old man, had to be cut from the wreck and was taken to Melbourne on Thursday with a fractured vertebrae.
The collision happened around 3am.
The CFA said in a statement it did not believe its members were at fault in the crash.
Ballarat police went further, saying the car did not give way at the intersection.
“It appears the vehicle has failed to give way,” said Sergeant Adam Tink.
The CFA said it would help the driver’s family following the shocking accident.
“We’ve arranged transport so the most badly-injured member‘s wife can visit him in Melbourne and we’ll also provide accommodation if wanted,” a spokesman said.
District 15 Operations Manager Brett Boatman said the crash was a wake-up call on the range of dangers firefighters face.
“It’s an unfortunate reminder that the dangers that come with responding to an emergency call aren’t just limited to the incident scene,” he said.
The driver and passenger of the other car were unhurt in the crash. The driver was questioned at the scene, police said.
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