Firefighters rescue man trapped in trench | October 25, 2013 | Pleasanton Weekly | |

Pleasanton Weekly

News - October 25, 2013

Firefighters rescue man trapped in trench

No major injuries sustained in cave-in

by Glenn Wohltmann

A worker is safe after being trapped for more than 45 minutes when a trench collapsed on him last week.

The Livermore Pleasanton Fire Department was called to the scene on Blakemore Court at about 3:40 p.m. Oct. 17. The worker was up to his chest when the trench walls caved in on him; by the time rescuers arrived, his coworkers had dug him out to his stomach, but were ordered out of the trench because it was unstable.

"The walls of the trench were shored up using specialized equipment carried by the fire department," Jack Neiman-Kimel, LPFD battalion chief, said in a news release. "This equipment kept the walls from further sloughing off allowing the victim to be removed from the trench."

The victim did not sustain any major injuries and no firefighters were hurt in the rescue. In all, three engines, one truck, two rescue units, one ambulance, one battalion chief, two deputy fire chiefs and a utility unit responded to the scene.

Neiman-Kimel said the man was on a crew brought in to dig out a pool that had been filled in, and that the trench was apparently not properly braced.

"Trenches at construction sites usually follow strict guidelines to make the work environment safe but can still become unstable and cave in," Neiman-Kimel said in the release. "Trenches are deeper than they are wide which is the reason the walls can cave in and injure someone inside the trench."

LPFD firefighters receive annual training in confined space rescues, as required by the state. Trench rescues are cited by national organizations as one of the most dangerous rescue operations firefighters face because of the possibility of further collapse.


There are no comments yet for this post

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: *

Choose a category: *

Since this is the first comment on this story a new topic will also be started in Town Square! Please choose a category that best describes this story.

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields