Dunkirk Volunteer Fire Department

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Port Republic Well Rescue
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By Deputy Chief Jonathan Riffe
July 1, 2019

0918 hours—1950 Scientist Cliffs Road, Port Republic

As a resident of Scientist Cliffs was walking along Scientist Cliffs Road this morning, a faint yell for help was heard coming from an unknown location. After a brief period of time, it was discovered that an elderly male had fallen into an old well shaft located just off the roadway and had been down there for an unknown amount of time.

The Confined Space Technical Rescue Assignment was dispatched bringing units from the St Leonard VFD, Prince Frederick VFD Tower 2, Huntingtown VFD Confined Space 6 and Dunkirk VFD Technical Rescue 5 to the scene. In addition, Dunkirk VFD Chief 5, Chief 5A and Safety Officer 5 responded.

Units arrived and confirmed that there was an elderly male approximately 15-20 feet down in a “dug style” brick well shaft. The patient displayed obvious signs of trauma/injuries, along with being epileptic and diabetic. Tower 2 was positioned to use the bucket as an anchor above the well shaft.

Dunkirk VFD Chief 5 took a Class 2 rescue harness, webbing, sawzall and carabiners down to the patient. After cutting old piping, wiring and the well pump with the sawzall, the debris, along with bricks and wood were hoisted out of the well. The patient was placed in a rescue harness, removed and airlifted to a local trauma center.

Command: St Leonard VFD Chief 7B
Rescue Group: Prince Fredrick VFD Chief 2B
Safety: Prince Frederick VFD Safety 2
Entry: Chief 5

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