HFD ambulance breaks down on SW Freeway

By Joel Eisenbaum - Investigative Reporter

HOUSTON - Another dangerous breakdown happened to Houston Fire Department emergency equipment, this time an ambulance on the Southwest Freeway.

The incident happened Sunday when Ambulance 80 broke down and was stuck in the main lanes of Highway 59 near Hillcroft. Engine 51 pushed the ambulance to safety.

No patients were on board.

Notably, Engine 51 was a reserve truck, after the original frontline engine was hit by a car and damaged on the same highway about three weeks ago.

"I drove out there to see what the issue. We had mechanical issues. It's no secret we're dealing with an aging fleet, we're advocating for resources," Houston Fire Chief Sam Pena, said.

Two weeks ago, another ambulance broke down at an inopportune time on the North Freeway feeder road near Crosstimbers.

A few weeks before that, it was a reserve ladder truck serving as the aerial apparatus for Station 51.

That ladder truck broke down in the middle lane of Bellaire during a call and would not restart for two minutes.

"While we understand things break, when it becomes the norm not the exception is when we realize the alarm needs to be sounded," Patrick Lancton, president of the Firefighters Union, said.

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