At 09:01 Orleans Fire-Rescue was dispatched to 30 Viking Rd for a construction worker trapped in sand up to his waist in a hole approximately 12 ft. deep. The worker became trapped when the unstable walls of the trench collapsed on him while hand digging the deep hole. On arrival of the fire department the worker was conscious and alert but the hole and the area surrounding it was unstable due to the sandy ground. Recognizing the potential need for technical equipment to complete the recue the Incident Commander, Deputy Chief Geof Deering requested a Tier 1 activation of the Barnstable County Technical Rescue Team which is comprised of firefighters from a number of Cape departments who are trained and equipped to operate at these type of incidents. Upon the request for the team Brewster Fire Chief Moran (Car 231) and technical rescue truck (904) with several Brewster team members responded to the scene.
Upon sizing up the incident, Orleans firefighters used excellent judgment in utilizing plywood from the construction site to place ground pads and temporary shoring around the trapped worker to prevent further collapse of the trench. Once the walls of the trench were stabilized the crew was able to safely extricate the worker. He was evaluated by paramedics and treated for a possible leg, ankle/foot injury, but refused transport to the Hospital. Upon successful completion of the extrication the Technical Rescue Team was deactivated, and the Building Inspector was requested to further evaluate the safety of the scene. All units were back in service and scene cleared by approximately 09:45. The response of the technical rescue team to this incident highlights the benefits of the implementation of regional based response assets and the dedicated efforts of the team members and their respective Fire Chiefs in developing and supporting this critical response resource.
Photos courtesy of Craig Chadwick