- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 6, 2014

A long-running dispute between San Diego firefighters and police came to an abrupt and alarming head this week, after a cop arrested one of the fire department’s emergency responders who was working a road rescue. The firefighter refused to move his truck, which was parked across lanes on the California highway.

Chula Vista firefighter Jacob Gregoire, 36, was cuffed and taken into custody by a California Highway Patrol officer, whose name wasn’t known or released by a local station, which captured the scene on video. Mr. Gregoire was put in the back of a police car and kept there for fully 30 minutes while his fellow responders helped victims of the vehicle roll-over wreck, the news outlet reported.

“To detain one of our firefighters in the middle of an incident is ridiculous,” Chula Vista Fire Chief Dave Hanneman said, The Daily Mail reported.

The video showed an unbelieving Mr. Gregoire shouting to bystanders and fellow responders that he was being arrested, followed by the officer’s explanation.

“We asked you to clear the road and you said no, and you are getting arrested for not moving [the truck],” the officer said, in the video.

Mr. Gregoire, for his part, said he was only parking the truck in the manner of which he had been trained – to shield as many emergency responders as possible from passing traffic.

Meanwhile, Facebook posters seem to side with Mr. Gregoire.

“As a firefighter with 30 years’ experience responding to exactly this kind of incident, I can assure you that the truck was properly placed to provide maximum safety to the crews,” wrote Ernest Chiardonna, The Daily Mail reported.

Mr. Gregoire’s fellow firefighters, meanwhile, said they’ve been fighting with local police for some time, telling the local station that officers have previously disputed with several other emergency responders for similar infractions in recent years — but that this is the first time cops have actually initiated an arrest.

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