Oakland Firefighter Critically Injured When Truck Tips Over at Airport

An Oakland firefighter was hospitalized in critical condition after a fire truck tipped over during a training exercise at Oakland International Airport.

A spokesperson said that no airport operations were affected when the Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting rig, or ARFF,  lost control on a taxiway just before 11:45 a.m. on Tuesday morning.

"The firefighter was not thrown from the vehicle, but he sustained life-threatening injuries, according to officials.

The injured firefighter, identified as 55-year-old Mitchell Ow, was driving the vehicle as part of a "red-alert" drill intended to test response time to airport accidents. He was wearing a seatbelt, according to Oakland Fire Chief Teresa Deloach Reed.

As of Wednesday morning, Oakland fire officials said Ow is awake and breathing on his own. The department's battalion chief says Ow gave him a thumbs-up from his hospital bed Tuesday night.

No one else was injured in the accident.

Officials said Ow is a 28-year veteran of the Oakland Fire Department and assigned to Oakland Fire Station 22 at the airport.

"This firefighter was one of our more experienced firefighters out there at the station," Reed said.

The ARFF is equipped to carry 3,000 gallons of water and 420 gallons of foam, according to officials. It tipped over while l performing a turn in front of the Oakland Maintenance Center, formerly known as the United Airlines Hangar.

California Highway Patrol and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are investigating the incident, officials said.

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