While those who live in the path of the devastating wildfires in California fear for their lives, brave firefighters work to protect property and lives. In many cases, firefighters from other states come to help, as is the case with the Woolsey Fire that erupted on Nov. 8 in Southern California. These workers battle the fires for hours on end without rest, sometimes leading to tragic workplace accidents.
One such an accident saw a firefighter from another state airlifted to a hospital on a recent Wednesday. Authorities report that a 50-year-old man was involved in fighting a fire along the Pacific Coast Highway, where residents had been evacuated. A report by the California Highway Patrol indicates that the man decided to take a break. While he was resting on the ground next to his vehicle, another pickup truck ran over him.
CHP says the incident occurred shortly before noon. Although the firefighter's left side and his chest were crushed, authorities say the injuries were not deemed life-threatening. The driver of the pickup truck was not injured, and CHP does not suspect alcohol or drug impairment to have played a role in this incident.
As with any other workplace accidents, firefighters in California are covered by the workers' compensation insurance system. In a case such as this one in which the injured worker is from another state, he might be wise to consult with an experienced workers' compensation attorney. A lawyer can explain how the claims process works under such circumstances and do what is necessary to obtain the benefits to which the man is entitled.