Monterey Park fire truck crash investigated


One firefighter remained hospitalized Thursday, listed in moderate condition. A pedestrian was also still hospitalized, listed in critical condition.

The collision between two fire trucks is raising questions about response procedures, and whether the firefighters' headsets may have played a role in the crash.

A Monterey Park Fire Department engine truck crashed into Lu's Dumpling House after colliding with an Alhambra Fire department ladder truck at Emerson and Garfield about 3 p.m. Wednesday. Both trucks were en route to a structure fire in the area.

Fourteen people suffered moderate to mild injuries. Six of the injured were firefighters.

Thursday afternoon, officials from both the Monterey Park and Alhambra fire departments held a news conference. They didn't discuss specifics, but did talk about the headsets firefighters wear while driving trucks.

"The headsets that they wear are not noise-canceling. They diminish noise. They're able to contact each other through dispatch," said Monterey Park Fire Chief Jim Birrell.

"I don't think that the headsets played the largest role but the investigation by the CHP will determine if there are any causing factors," said Alhambra Fire Chief Bill Walker. "We go into each other's towns every day and do these type of calls and we don't have these incidents. It would be difficult on that fire engine with your own sirens going with the headset on to be able to pick out another fire engine's specific sirens."

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