California: Central Fire district wrecks engine during training

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While training at an off road vehicle recreation area, firefighters from the Central Fire Protection District near Santa Cruz, California, rolled a wildland fire engine 2-1/2 times. They are still evaluating if the $235,000 engine can be repaired. 

It is a common practice at Central Fire to train their engine operators at the Hollister Hills State Vehicular Recreation Area, where there are 24 miles of dirt roads designated, much like ski areas, with three levels of difficulty. The three-person crew, with two on board and one outside the engine serving as a spotter, was driving on one of the moderate-difficulty roads when the engine rolled down a steep hillside, coming to rest against a tree.

Both firefighters in the engine were wearing seat belts and one suffered a minor shoulder injury. She will be off work for about a week recovering.

A bulldozer with a cable was used to drag the engine, still upside down, to the bottom of the hill, where a tow truck righted it and towed it back to Santa Cruz. 

This was the only wildland engine the Central Fire district has. 

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