One involved firefighter from out of county department
There were two crashes in Oakfield Township, in the early morning hours of Thursday, July 7, and the second crash involved a firefighter from an out of county department that had self-dispatched to the first scene.
According to the Michigan State Police and Oakfield Fire Department Chief Sam Peterson, the first crash occurred at 1:15 a.m. at 14 Mile and Wabasis. Jennifer Cribs, 22, of Aurora, Colorado, was northbound on Wabasis, when she failed to stop at the stop sign at 14 Mile and was struck by an eastbound pickup truck driven by Daniel Heath, 30, of Greenville.
The woman was flown to Butterworth Hospital by AeroMed with serious injuries, and the man was sent to the hospital by ambulance.
While both Oakfield and Spencer Township Fire worked on the first scene, another crash report came in at 2:30 a.m. and involved a firefighter west of the scene of the first accident, in front of the Halfway Restaurant.
Police said that Joshua Crandall, 35, of Greenville, was driving eastbound on 14 Mile, and hit an unattended firefighter’s vehicle that was blocking eastbound traffic on 14 Mile, in front of the Halfway Restaurant. Police said that Crandall suffered minor injuries, and that alcohol was involved.
However, according to Oakfield Chief Sam Peterson, when they and Spencer Township arrived on scene, they found that the firefighter was not one of theirs. “It was discovered that the firefighter was from an out of county department, and had self-dispatched to the scene, skirting the incident command system,” said Peterson. “He was in a spot where we would not have had a (road) closure, and he was not visible by our command staff or working staff. Both departments worked quickly, effectively, and safely to secure both scenes, and treat patients at both scenes until care could be turned over to advanced life support.”
“At Oakfield Township Fire Department we work to keep scenes safe and patients safe and it is important to be vigilant around emergency scenes,” continued Peterson. “It also is important to know that we have the training and experience to be able to do so in a controlled and safe manner, and self-dispatching is never safe, as well as goes against incident command protocols. Here at Oakfield Township Fire we work hard to keep our township safe and will continue to do so. We have a great team that is ready to serve and protect the community 24 hours a day, and we will not let this incident set us back as a department.”