Two police officers and two EMS paramedics were hurt Sunday afternoon when their emergency vehicles collided while racing to 911 calls in Brownsville, Brooklyn.
One of the EMS workers is listed in serious condition at Kings County Hospital; the others involved in the crash suffered injuries that were not considered life-threatening, law enforcement sources said.
With so many members of both the Police and Fire Departments out on sick leave during the coronavirus pandemic, neither could afford to have anyone out with injuries, officials say.
The crash occurred at about 2:15 p.m. when a police vehicle from Transit District 33 was responding to a 911 call of a person armed with a firearm and were traveling east on Fulton Street. The ambulance was rushing to a cardiac arrest traveling north on Rockaway Avenue.
As the ambulance crossed the nearly empty intersection, authorities said, their vehicle was struck broad-side by the police SUV.
The two officers in the police vehicle had to exit quickly as the front of the SUV caught fire and threatened to set both vehicles aflame. Firefighters were quickly on the scene to control the fire, officials said.
Both vehicles were said to be traveling with lights and sirens, but had no way they were approaching. However, police are investigating the cause of the crash.