Gregory Paul Garza, Firefighter

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Firefighter Garza and the members of his aerial platform company were dispatched with other fire department units to a report of smoke in a downtown hotel.  The first-due engine company requested a fan off of the aerial platform truck to clear smoke in the building.  Firefighter Garza returned to the apparatus to retrieve a TIC.

Firefighter Garza apparently stumbled in front of the apparatus and fell flat on his back into oncoming traffic right as a vehicle passed by.  The vehicle went over the top of Firefighter Garza, crushing him with the tires and also catching on his clothing and dragging him a short distance. 

Treatment was begun by firefighters immediately on-scene and Firefighter Garza was transported by fire department ambulance to a hospital.  Approximately 45-minutes after his arrival at the hospital, Firefighter Garza was pronounced dead.  His death was caused by traumatic injuries.

Factors contributing to the incident were darkness, early morning rush hour, and the driver of the vehicle was blinded by the emergency lights of the apparatus.

Department information

San Antonio Fire Department
315 South Santa Rosa Avenue
San Antonio, Texas 78207

Chief: Charles Hood

Gregory Paul Garza was honored on the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Emmitsburg, Maryland and was included in the USFA’s annual report Firefighter Fatalities in the United States.
Age: 49
Rank: Firefighter
Classification: Career
Incident date: October 15, 2019 06:36
Date of death: October 15, 2019
Cause of death: Struck By
Nature of death: Trauma
Activity type: Support
Emergency duty: Yes
Duty type: On-Scene Fire
Fixed property use: Street/Road