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Firefighter arrested by CHP: Misunderstanding between police and fire department

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A Chula Vista firefighter arrested by a CHP patrol officer in Calif. was something that required a double-take, but wound up being the result of a communication issue. UPI reports Feb. 6 that the California Highway Patrol detained a member of the Chula Vista Fire Department after he parked his truck behind an ambulance in the passing lane of I-805 where an accident scene that involved injuries had occurred Tuesday.

The unidentified patrol officer instructed engineer Jacob Gregoire to move the engine truck or he would be arrested. Chula Vista Fire Chief Dave Hanneman said Gregoire answered that he was looking for victims and that he needed to check with his captain first. The firefighter appeared to be arrested by the CHP patrol officer and it was all caught on video. It showed Gregoire leaping over a freeway divider before placing his hands behind his back and being handcuffed.

Chief Hanneman said firefighter crews are trained to park their trucks to block-off oncoming traffic for safety.

Gregoire was seated in the back of the police car for a few minutes, but he was not arrested.. He was not arrested. Supervisors from CHP and the fire department met at the scene and Gregoire was released at that point.

"The CHP is going to investigate," Hanneman said. "I think a lot of this had to do with communication."

Joint training education will be discussed so such misunderstandings do not happen again in the future.

Hanneman added that this is not how both agencies normally work together.

Fortunately the firefighter was not arrested by the CHP patrol officer and everything was worked out. Even professionals in that position will have mistakes made on rare occasions.

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