Radio calls as CHP officer cuffs firefighter - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Radio calls as CHP officer cuffs firefighter

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - For the first time we're hearing the radio calls from a dispute between Chula Vista firefighters and California Highway Patrol officers.

Even before the firefighter was handcuffed by a CHP officer on Tuesday, fire department radio traffic shows us tension was in the air. We can hear one frustrated firefighter on scene trying to get Battalion 51 on a private line.

Firefighter: Are you near a, uh, cell phone? I'm going to have to walk back to Engine 52. I just need to talk to you about an issue with CHP out here.

A crash on I-805 at around 9:30 p.m. injured two people and Chula Vista firefighters had arrived on scene before CHP. One of their engines was parked in the fast lane behind an ambulance and CHP wanted engineer Jacob Gregoire to move it.

But things were moving too slowly for the unidentified CHP officer.

Firefighter: I don't have time for a cell phone this is ridiculous CHP is arresting Engineer Gregoire for where he spotted the fire engine. We are in the middle of patient care with patients on the freeway and we are trying to protect our scene and they are putting him in handcuffs at this time and walking him away.

Gregoire was lead in handcuffs to the back of a patrol car where he was detained for about 30 minutes. Firefighters still on scene at around 10 p.m. wanted to speak with CHP privately.

[READ RELATED: Officials: Dispute between CHP officer, firefighter an 'isolated incident']

Firefighter: Can you have contact with the CHP supervisor and have him call me on my cell phone, please?

But while Gregoire was in cuffs, the two people hurt in the crash were treated with the help of firefighters who left their engine where it was.

Firefighter: I did not move our engine so it's still in the initial spot and we're just continuing with patient care.

Chula Vista Fire Chief Dave Hanneman spoke Wednesday before and after a meeting with CHP to discuss how to handle similar scenarios in the future.

"We don't want this to occur again, and we talked about what could be put in place so that this doesn't happen again," Hanneman said.

Both agencies are sticking with a joint statement issued Wednesday, February 5 saying this was an unfortunate, but isolated incident.

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