According to the Seattle Fire Department, on Wednesday while the crew of Engine 10 was responding to a fire at the intersection of Eighth Avenue and Spring Street and away from the vehicle, they returned to find an approximately 40-year-old woman sitting in the driver seat.
KOMO News reported that she was unsuccessful and was offered mental health resources.
While the Engine 10 crew was responding to an overdose call on Thursday at Third Avenue and Marion Street, an approximately 50-year-old woman got into the fire truck’s driver’s seat.
According to the outlet, the firefighters were able to get the woman out of the fire engine before she could operate the vehicle and she was taken to Harborview Medical Center for a mental health evaluation.
Seattle police told the outlet that it wasn’t the same woman involved in both incidents.
In August 2022, it was revealed that Seattle firefighters have increasingly become the victims of dozens of violent and dangerous attacks.
Their union called out city officials for "the impact that this hostility is having on firefighter safety and the critical services" they provide.
In December, it was also revealed that many of the suspects have not been charged or have been released from custody.
In response to the attacks earlier this month, the Seattle city council voted to expand the city's municipal code regarding obstructing a public officer to include firefighters.
That same council repeatedly defunded the already short-staffed Seattle Police Department following the George Floyd riots that rocked the city in the wake of the spring and summer of 2020. Additionally, the city implemented a Covid vaccine mandate, following the lead of Democratic Governor Jay Inslee, which increased the exodus of officers.
A spike in violent crimes, including homicides, followed.
The department is down close to 600 officers and 911 response times have increased.
The city’s Covid vaccine mandate also led to the termination of firefighters, leaving the department similarly short-staffed and forcing SFD to “brown out” units from services.
Additionally, a $10 million lawsuit has been filed against the City of Seattle after the defunding of the police allegedly led to the wrongful death of William Yurek, because his address was accidentally on an outdated blacklist for hostility toward first responders because of a previous tenant.
Police are required to enter a domicile that is on the blacklist to secure the scene for other first responders, according to Seattle's policy.
No officers were available, and Yurek’s 13-year-old son, who called 911, watched his father die.
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