Shots rang out as Washington D.C. firefighters responded to a car crash in Southwest D.C. on Thursday night, underscoring the growing dangers first responders face.
Around 8:20 p.m., firefighters from Truck 8 and Engine 33 came under fire as they arrived at the scene of a collision at South Capitol and Elmira Streets. Though none of the firefighters were injured, authorities say the shooter appeared to be firing indiscriminately in the area.
The harrowing incident comes on the heels of an investigation that revealed assaults on firefighters have surged nationwide in recent years. According to research from Drexel University, there were 350 media-reported attacks on firefighters in 2021 and nearly 600 last year.
In response to the shooting, mental health services and peer support groups were made available to the affected D.C. personnel. The local firefighters union also issued a statement acknowledging the mental toll these situations take on first responders.
While the motive remains unclear, union officials denounced the violence, saying “For [firefighters] to also become targets of violence is totally senseless.” The shooting serves as another reminder of the risks firefighters face as they rush into danger to save others.
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