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First Due Trench Rescue
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By Lionville Fire Company
June 5, 2019

On Wednesday, June 5th at 2:07 PM The Lionville Fire Company, Uwchlan EMS and Uwchlan Police were dispatched to Norwood Rd and Beech St in Uwchlan Township for a subject trapped in a sewer construction trench.

Initial reports indicated that the worker was trapped 10 feet down in a trench, based on the supplemental information a request for additional resources was made which alerted both the Chester County Rescue Task Force Trench Rescue Team and The East Goshen Township Public Works Trench Rescue Team.

Initial arriving units found a subject trapped up to his waist in a sewer excavation. Crews made initial attempts to remove the victim but due to his location and the soil were unable to do so.

As additional units arrived on scene, they began placing ground pads and additional shoring to ensure that there would be no further collapse of the trench, while technical rescue paramedics from Station 2 (Berwyn Fire Company) entered the space to evaluate and begin treatment. Due to soil conditions, two vacuum trucks were requested to respond to assist in soil removal. The victim remained conscious and cooperative throughout.

Members worked feverishly but deliberately, as the hours ticked by, and progress was slow. Additional resources were dispatched, including Rehab 55 (Good Fellowship EMS) along with the Chester County Incident Support Team (IST) and Mobile Communications Unit (Comm 1) and several ATVs. Chester County Rescue Task Force Leader Kevin Corcoran, in conjunction with Command, placed a request for mutual aid from the Montgomery County USAR Team. Shortly after these additional resources were mobilized, on scene technical rescue crews successfully made the rescue. The victim, secured in a harness, was hoisted from the trench and placed on a stretcher around 5:00 pm where additional EMS providers continued treatment and was transported to a local trauma center.

Special Thank You to all of those companies that assisted on this incident, as well as The Ludwigs Corner Fire Company for standing by in our district to cover any other calls.

Information from this story was contributed in part by The Chester County Rescue Task Force.

Photos courtesy of The Lionville Fire Company and The Chester County Rescue Task Force.

Units: Engine 47-2, Rescue 47, Tower 47, Utility 47, Chief 47, Assistant 47, Battalion 47

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