Central Hardin volunteer firefighters experienced a close call Saturday morning when a semi smashed into the crew’s fire truck while they were responding to a wreck on Interstate 65.

The firetruck was blocking multiple lanes of traffic and the shoulder, creating a buffer zone near mile marker 97, when the semi hit it and crunched the front bumper. The semi also took out three traffic cones placed at the scene.

Capt. Paul Cairns and firefighter Misty Led­low said the truck did exactly what was intended – saved their lives.

“It protected all of us,” Ledlow said.

“The truck did its job. That is why we park like we do, why we set up like we do, so this truck takes the impact and we don’t,” Cairns said. “The truck can be replaced, we cannot.”

No one was injured.

Kentucky law requires drivers move over when approaching emergency vehicles, if it’s safe and possible to do so.

“Move over and slow down. It’s the law,” Cairns said. “I understand people think it’s an inconvenience, but we don’t get paid for this. ... We’re out here doing this because this is what we love to do. We all have families to go back to. Just slow down and move over. I don’t care if it is fire, EMS, police or tow.”

The crash took the department’s main engine off the road, forcing the department to rely on a backup model that is 27 years old.

“It is going to put a damper on our response time,” Cairns said.

Cairns said they are unsure how long the truck will be out of commission for repairs.

Mary Alford can be reached at 270-505-1741 or malford@thenewsenterprise.com.

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