The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Strange, but True Stories: Trial by Fire

These "Strange, but True" stories were sent to Automotive Fleet by fleet managers, drivers, and fleet management companies. Have a strange, but true story? Something so incredible it couldn't have been made up? Share your stories with Automotive Fleet. E-mail: [email protected]

June 2011, by Staff

One fleet manager received a call that a full-size pumper truck was swallowed up to its bumpers in a sinkhole. And that was only his second day on the job!
One fleet manager received a call that a full-size pumper truck was swallowed up to its bumpers in a sinkhole. And that was only his second day on the job!

'Trial by Fire'

A Southern California fleet manager oversaw the fire department fleet as part of his job. One day, he received a call from fire department staff, stating the department had a fire rig that was stuck at the local grocery store and needed fleet to respond and help get them "unstuck."

The City's mobile mechanic responded to the scene. After arriving, the mechanic called the fleet manager and strongly suggested that he come and view the situation in person.

The fleet manager responded to the scene to see a full-size pumper truck swallowed up to its bumpers in a huge sink hole. While the fire crew assigned to the vehicle was inside the store shopping, the parking lot asphalt gave way and swallowed the fire rig.

Soon, news helicopters were flying overhead, and half of the store parking lot was closed to allow room for the fire rig extraction. More than 100 police and fire department employees (some "looky-loos") were on the scene. After calling for several crane/tow trucks and the emergency response vehicle that transports blocking, jacks, and other tools used for collapsed buildings, the fire rig was freed. It took most of the day to clear the scene. "I often wonder how much that basket of groceries actually cost that day," the fleet manager lightheartedly commented.

Note: This event occurred on the second day this fleet manager was on the job. The first day, one of his parts employees was killed in an auto accident. On the third day, one of his trash trucks rolled over on the freeway. On the fourth day, one of the City's street sweepers caught fire and burned to the ground. Lucky for him, he only worked four days a week and the next week, things started to settle down. Strange, but all true stories.

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