Over the 4th of July holiday weekend the JFRD experienced an oddity not witnessed in nearly 50 years: the theft of an official apparatus. More specifically, during the pre-dawn hours of July 5 the crew from Rescue 5 completed a run with a patient drop-off at St. Vincent's and, much to their amazement, discovered that someone had 'stolen' their rig. Although the unit would soon be recovered by JSO (the apparatus found less than a mile away and with no damage whatsoever), the incident nevertheless became 'water-cooler' fodder for many days as veterans of the Department strained their respective memories to recall a similar event in recent history. The best comparative, by consensus, was the theft of Ladder 1 by several inebriated Mayport sailors some fifty-odd years ago, a joyride down the Arlington Expressway that thankfully remained accident and injury free upon its conclusion.
A Level 1 MCI occurred on Wednesday afternoon, 23 July, as a result of a tractor-trailer versus JTA bus collision that also included a corresponding crash into a two story, brick mixed-use (commercial-residential) building. The large rig clipped a JTA bus just around 5 PM near West Beaver and Rushing, subsequently coming to a 'smashing' halt into the brick building that served as the home to a seafood retail business on the ground floor, with vacant apartments located on the second floor. Nearly one-third of the building's bricks and mortar came crumbling down onto the cab of the tractor-trailer, and the aforementioned vehicle wound up spilling nearly 90 odd gallons of diesel as a result of the incident. The good news in all of this carnage was found in the number and severity of injuries reported: 'only' 4 adults and one pediatric patient from the bus, all sustaining minor injuries, were transported to area hospitals: the driver of the rig escaped unharmed and no injuries were reported from inside of the building.