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Firefighters would “rather go into a burning building” than drive

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Firefighters in South Dakota say that they would choose entering a burning building over driving on a snowy interstate after an incident involving a semi truck this week. 

A semi truck jackknifed into a Brookings Fire Department truck after a four-wheeler braked hard in front of the rig on Wednesday, February 14th in South Dakota. The trucker chose to send the truck crashing into the median, accidentally clipping the fire truck in the process, rather than crush the car. The motorist then continued on Interstate 29 without stopping, reported Dakota News Now

“A lot of things went through my head, like, ‘I need to be there, but I can’t,’” said Brookings Fire Chief Pete Bolzer.

“They were telling me their story this morning. They couldn’t do anything about what was happening even though they saw it coming,” Bolzer said. “They looked out the window and they could see the semi coming right at them and one of them told me, ‘The only thing I thought of was, how is this going to work?’”

“A car traveling in front of the tractor/trailer braked hard and the truck driver did what he had to do,” the Brookings Fire Department wrote in a Facebook post. “Jackknife his rig and put it into the median. Unfortunately, the momentum carried the truck into the side of the fire equipment.  And the car? It continued South.”

“I think this scared a lot of my firefighters even more than they are afraid of roadway incidents,” Bolzer continued.

“Talking to some of my other firefighters, there’s been a number of them that told me they’d rather go into a burning building any day of the week than go out on that Interstate ever again because every time that they go out there, they feel like they put their lives in jeopardy.”

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