Cedar Rapids firefighters put their specialized training to use for the first time within the city limits when they extricated a private utility contractor from a collapsed trench Tuesday.
According to a release from the city, Joint Communications Agency Dispatchers received a call around 9:40 am for a trapped worker in the 600 block of 1st Ave SW. Rescue teams with specialized training and equipment were immediately sent to the scene. Upon arrival, a single adult male was located trapped from the waist down in a collapsed work space where he had been repairing utility lines to a nearby business.
Crews deployed got into the 8-to-10-foot-deep hole and began the process of removing the victim while preventing further collapse. The victim was conscious and able to communicate with responders as the rescue proceeded. Ultimately, the victim was removed from the trench and sent to a local hospital with unknown injuries to his lower extremities.
Cedar Rapids Sewer, Area Ambulance and Cedar Rapids Police also assisted on-scene.
Public Safety Communications Specialist Mike Battien said it was a significant rescue for the Fire Department. Rescue teams have trained annually on these types of scenarios since 1996, but this is the first time a worker has been trapped in the City limits and required this type of specialized response.
The name and condition of the worker involved in the collapse has not been released.