Worker freed from trench after three-hour ordeal - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Worker freed from trench after three-hour ordeal

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  • Training, teamwork crucial in trench rescues

    Training, teamwork crucial in trench rescues

    Tuesday, October 16 2012 4:24 PM EDT2012-10-16 20:24:08 GMT
    The owner of Bedell Plumbing says the 41-year-old employee who became trapped in a trench Monday is currently resting at home. It took firefighters over three hours to free the man, who was consciousMore >>
    Eyewitness News spoke to firefighters who helped in Monday's successful rescue of a plumbing company worker who became trapped in a trench for three hours.More >>
CARMEL -

It took firefighters well over three hours to rescue a plumbing company worker who became trapped in a trench Monday afternoon. The worker was conscious when he was pulled out of the trench, and he was taken to the hospital for treatment.

It happened in the 11900 block of Rolling Springs Drive in Carmel. That's near Keystone Ave. and Carmel Drive.

Fire crews say a 41-year-old worker from Greenfield-based Bedell Plumbing was trapped waist-deep in the trench, which is 12 feet deep in spots. He was installing a new sewer line from a house to the street when the collapse occurred.

EMTs remained in contact with the man the entire time, and kept a close watch on his vital signs. Bruce Knott with the Carmel Fire Department described the man as alert and conscious when he was finally freed from the trench.

"This is a big compression injury and he was down in the hole from 12:42 until a little bit after four o'clock," said Knott, who explained it was dangerous to get the man out too fast because of the pressure from the dirt surrounding him.

Firefighters were called to the scene on a report of a man trapped in a hole at around 12:42 pm. When they arrived, they realized it was a trench collapse.

The rescue was complicated by the man's co-workers digging another trench to rescue him. That made the existing trench even more treacherous, and emergency personnel had to take additional steps to shore up the trench so it wouldn't collapse.

Another challenge for fire crews was the dirt that had been piled up by the side of the trench. This created an unsafe condition for the victim and rescuers. Some of the dirt had to be removed by hand in order to create a safe place for the rescuers to operate from.

Crews from Westfield and Fishers assisted, and special dirt suction equipment from Carmel Utilities and Westfield Utilities was on hand.

Stat-flight air rescue was called to the scene and eventually transported the victim to the hospital.

It was over by 4:15 pm.

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