Rescue Award: Sergeant Bluff Fire Rescue

Sergeant Bluff Fire Rescue

Sergeant Bluff Fire Rescue was dispatched to a trench collapse on 11/15/2020 at 1203 hours. Upon arrival a pt. was found approximately 8 feet down in a trench and buried by dirt with only his head exposed. SBFR deployed strong back panels into the trench that were held in place by Paratech struts. Additional strong backs were also put in place to make a larger and safe work zone for the rescuers and they were also held in place by Paratech struts. Using the struts instead of having to measure and cut wood to use saved time and allowed rescuers to enter the trench safely much quicker. Gas monitoring, ground pads, escape ladders, and tools to dig and remove dirt were all in place. Fire apparatus with a winch and a tow truck were used to stabilize a mini excavator that was at the edge of the trench. Fresh air was pumped in to the trench and eventually warm air was pumped in due to the windchill being 37 degrees Fahrenheit (this was provided by the Air National Guard – usually used for heating aircraft). Additionally, a 50 ton rotator wrecker was used as a high point anchor to assist in the rescue and the city public works department provided a vacuum trailer to assist in evacuating dirt and sand from the trench. The pt. was successfully removed from the trench approximately 2.5 hours after the initial call came in and was transported to a local trauma center and was subsequently released and is now at home.

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