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Scott P. Gillen


Lieutenant Gillen and members of his truck company were dispatched to the site of a motor vehicle collision on an expressway to provide a traffic shield with their apparatus and to assist ambulance personnel. Two state police cars were positioned behind the ladder truck in a further attempt to divert traffic. As the incident was being concluded, Lieutenant Gillen walked around the truck to make sure that everything was ready to go. As Lieutenant Gillen walked, a passenger car ran over a line of flares in an attempt to slip by traffic. The car then struck a tractor trailer, spun, and pinned Lieutenant Gillen between the car and the ladder truck. Lieutenant Gillen was treated at the scene and then airlifted to the hospital. His legs were crushed in the collision, and he had lost a substantial amount of blood. He died 10 hours later. The driver of the car that struck Lieutenant Gillen was under the influence of alcohol and was driving on a suspended driver’s license. He was later charged with reckless homicide. There were no injuries in the original collision. Lieutenant Gillen had been promoted to lieutenant just two weeks prior to his death. The Chicago fire commissioner was quoted as saying "I have a hard time calling this an accident, this was a crime, an absolute crime."
photo of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial
Scott P. Gillen 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.

Department information

Chicago Fire Department
121 North LaSalle Street
Room #105
Chicago, Illinois 60602

Chief: James T. Joyce

Age: 37
Rank: Lieutenant
Classification: Career
Incident date: December 23, 2000 02:45
Date of death: December 23, 2000
Cause of death: Struck By
Nature of death: Trauma
Activity type: Other
Emergency duty: Yes
Duty type: On-Scene Non-Fire
Fixed property use: Street/Road

Last updated: June 13, 2012