Thieves target Seattle fire fighting units while fire fighters respond to calls

Firefighters have been an increasing target in Seattle as violent crime has continued to spike in the wake of the city council defunding the police.

Ari Hoffman Seattle WA
Attacks and theft attempts continue to plague an already beleaguered Seattle Fire Department.

Seattle Police arrested a 60-year-old man on Tuesday for felony assault and malicious mischief after he threw a brick at a Seattle Fire Department truck.

Shortly after 12:00 pm, dispatch received multiple reports of a man who threw a brick at the SFD Medic 18 truck near the intersection of North 45th Street and Bagley Avenue North in the Wallingford neighborhood.

When officers arrived, they learned SFD paramedics were inside the truck and were driving with lights and sirens to a medical aid call. None of the paramedics were injured. The truck had significant damage to the windshield. In July, there were 21 vehicles hit by rocks or other objects while on a nearby freeway interchange where there is a chronic drug encampment.

Officers located the suspect nearby the incident and took him into custody and he was booked into King County Jail.

Firefighters have been an increasing target in Seattle as violent crime has continued to spike in the wake of the city council defunding the police, resulting in a loss of almost 600 officers.

It was previously revealed by The Post Millennial that Seattle firefighters have increasingly become the "victims of violent and dangerous" attacks, according to a letter sent by the firefighters union to the city council.

In December, it was discovered that many of the suspects had not been charged or had been released from custody.

Now, firefighters also have to contend with equipment theft attempts.

According to KOMO News, on Thursday, July 20, while firefighters were battling a large warehouse fire in the Chinatown-International District (CID) they interrupted a theft while it was happening. Seattle fire officials told the outlet that nothing was taken this time, noting that Seattle police at the scene assisted in keeping their equipment secure as they battled the warehouse fire, but did express concern that fire units are becoming known targets for thieves.

Kenny Stuart, president of IAFF Local 27, told the outlet, “We’ve seen greater incidents of actual thefts and attempted thefts of frontline equipment from fire apparatuses recently. We rely on our equipment so we can protect lives and property.”

The previous week, thieves got into a unit parked in Ballard, and in the middle of the day in a busy parking lot, made off with four front-line rescue saws and a generator, totaling thousands of dollars of equipment.

Last month, there were two separate incidents of people attempting to steal fire engines while crews were responding to calls.

In response, even though the department is dangerously short-staffed, two people are required to stay with the unit while on non-emergency work as the Seattle city council expansion of the city's municipal code regarding obstructing a public officer to include firefighters has failed to yield any results.

Staffing is so severe that units are regularly “browned out” of service.

Last week, the department reported an uptick in fires that were intentionally set in areas where some of the thefts and assaults have occurred, having responded to seven intentionally set fires during the last three weeks.
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