Correctional Training Facility/Salinas Valley SP Fire saves two from submerged truck

A truck with two people trapped inside was found submerged in drainage ditch when CTF/SVSP Fire and other responders rolled onto the scene.

A truck with two people trapped inside was found submerged in drainage ditch when CTF/SVSP Fire and other responders rolled onto the scene.

Rescuers could hear trapped victims scrambling for air pockets

By Fire Chief Michael Thomas
Correctional Training Facility/Salinas Valley State Prison Fire

Two people trapped in a submerged vehicle were saved thanks to the quick-thinking of a California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Fire Captain and his crew.

On May 12 at approximately 10:30 p.m., Correctional Training Facility/Salinas Valley State Prison (CTF/SVSP) Fire was dispatched to a motor vehicle accident on U.S. 101.

The call was reported as a vehicle rollover into a drainage ditch with entrapment.

Fire crews from the City of Gonzales, along with CTF/SVSP Fire, arrived about eight minutes later.

When they rolled onto the scene, fire crews found a pickup truck, on its top, submerged in approximately four feet of water. Occupants could be heard inside the vehicle scrambling for air pockets.

A CDCR Fire Captain from Correctional Training Facility Fire used the Jaws of Life to pry open the door while others stabilized the vehicle and entry points.

A CDCR Fire Captain from Correctional Training Facility Fire used the Jaws of Life to pry open the door while others stabilized the vehicle and entry points.

Fire Capt. Kirby Walton, of CTF Fire, ordered tools and equipment needed to attempt extrication of the occupants trapped inside.

While Walton worked within the water-filled ditch, other responders as well as an inmate firefighter from CTF/SVSP Fire, worked on stabilizing and securing access points to the vehicle.

With the use of the Jaws of Life, Walton was able to gain access and pry open the passenger door, which allowed for him to communicate with the two trapped occupants. A few moments later, both occupants were pulled from the submerged vehicle and guided up the embankment to safety. No major injuries were reported.

These acts of courage and heroic actions are often over looked or unheard of within CDCR Fire Departments.

CDCR Fire Captains respond daily to not only Institutional related emergency request, but are often dispatched out into their surrounding communities, to provide emergency response to  Fire/Hazmat/ Rescue calls and in some areas medical aid request.

I personally would like to commend Fire Capt. Walton and his crew as well as all the men and women of CDCR Fire Departments, from the northern tip of California to the southern border. Thank all of you.

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5 Responses

  1. K. Witt Friday, June 5, 2015 / 5:53 pm

    Kudos to you, Fire Captain Walton, for a job well done! I also offer my thanks to Fire Chief Thomas for your kind words towards all of us at CDCR Fire Department. CTF/SVSP Fire represents us all well!

  2. CCI Hjelden Wednesday, June 3, 2015 / 11:42 am

    Good job, Kirby and crew!

  3. kawatha Geter Tuesday, June 2, 2015 / 12:03 pm

    What did we just say about CDCR? Things don’t just happen by chance, you have to make it happen. That’s why the quick thinking of Captain Walton and his crew saved lives. Yeah, we do more than keep your communities safe while working in the prison. Kudos, CTF/SVSP.

  4. Fire Chief C. Swart, CSP LAC Tuesday, June 2, 2015 / 9:31 am

    Chief Thomas, your team rules!
    It is good to see my old working compadres doing a fine job and making the news.
    They are a reflection of your excellent leadership. Tell them I said hello.

    CS

  5. Carol Baublit Tuesday, June 2, 2015 / 9:00 am

    Thank you so much for your heroic efforts. It is great to let the public know that we are not just prisons, but have people out there who are trying to better themselves and work hard for their communities. Great job to all. Kudos to Fire Captain Walton, you have done a wonderful job!

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