San Diego, CA: Rural/Metro Ambulance is solemnly honoring the freeway sign recently erected in memoriam of EMT Esteban Bahena on the SR-163 freeway. The sign is in nearly the exact location where EMT Bahena was struck and killed by a vehicle in the line of duty in 2010.
“The Bahena incident in 2010 stunned not only our operation locally, but the public safety industry throughout the state and the nation,” said Rural/Metro General Manager Rich Ahrendt. “It was, and is, a stark reminder of the many hazards that may inflict our paramedics and emergency medical technicians while they serve the public.”
On April 1, 2010, a Rural/Metro Ambulance happened upon a single vehicle traffic accident on SR-163. After assessing the patients and initiating a response, the crew, which included Bahena, began to lay out a flare pattern to warn oncoming traffic. During this process, Bahena was struck by a vehicle traveling at freeway speed. He was transported to Mercy Hospital in his own ambulance, BLS22, where he was subsequently pronounced dead. The unit number BLS22 placard was retired in Bahena’s honor at his memorial.
The 24-year-old Bahena was born and raised in San Diego, and had been a Rural/Metro employee since August 2008. He attended Mount Miguel High School, obtained his EMT certification from Miramar College and his Bachelors in Psychology from UC San Diego.
About Rural/Metro Ambulance
Rural/Metro San Diego is the largest ambulance provider in the county with more than 550 employees. Rural/Metro serves San Diego with 80 ambulances and responds to more than 100,000 calls per year. For more information, visit www.ruralmetrosandiego.com.