Navy, D.C. Firefighters work together rescuing three people trapped on Interstate

By Joseph P. Cirone

Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling Public Affairs


WASHINGTON – Three people trapped in an overturned sport utility vehicle on Interstate 295 were rescued by Navy and D.C. firefighters and taken to an area hospital.

Firefighters from Naval District Washington Fire and Emergency Services Department Central Battalion (NDW F&ES) and the District of Columbia Fire and EMS (D.C. FEMS) Department worked together to make the rescue.

NDW F&ES Battalion Chief John McDonald said while returning to the Battalion’s Headquarters at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling (JBAB) from the nearby Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) at 1:48 p.m. on Oct. 18, he came upon the overturned vehicle on the northbound side of I-295, between NRL and JBAB.

The crash appeared to have just occurred. Emergency crews had not yet been notified of the crash.

“The car was resting on the driver’s side over the embankment and into the woods. One person was hanging out of the half opened window; another was partially pinned under the seat and twisted in a seated position against the roof. The third was not visually or physically accessible,” McDonald said.

McDonald contacted D.C. FEMS and NDW F&ES dispatchers by radio to request assistance. NDW F&ES Engine Co. 43 and D.C. FEMS Rescue Co. 3 responded to the scene.

Together, the firefighters from both departments worked together for nearly 50 minutes to properly stabilize the vehicle from causing further injuries, treat the patients, cut and dismantle the automobile, by removing doors, windows and the roof from around the patients to safely extricate them and deliver them to the EMS units for further treatment and transport to area hospitals.

McDonald said, “The firefighters from both departments did an extraordinary job in the extrication and assisting in emergency medical issues.”

“As a result of the firefighter’s professionalism, training and ability to work hand in hand with each other under a unified incident management system, this extraction was completed in less than 50 minutes,” McDonald concluded.

JBAB Commander, Navy Capt. Anthony T. Calandra praised the firefighters efforts and said,”We are glad that we were in a position to help our neighbors during their time of need. We are proud to be partners in the D.C. community and to have helped potentially save lives.”

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