Well Rescue

Firefighters from northern Baltimore County rescued a 6-year-old Parkton boy after he fell into a well inside a pump house at the rear of his home on April 8, 1997.

Baltimore County Lieutenant Mark Gardner, a rescue specialist assigned to the county's Advanced Tactical Rescue Unit, descended 45 feet into the unused shaft and pulled Roderick D. Aguillard IV to safety.

The incident occurred when Roderick and his brothers were playing in the yard after dinner at around 6:30 P.M. The old well was covered over but gave way when the youngster stepped on weak boards. He was trapped in the shaft for over an hour.

Gardner, a career firefighter assigned to the Texas fire station, was lowered into the three-foot-wide crevice with the assistance of a pulley. Firefighters removed loose bricks from the neck of the darkened shaft before Gardner was lowered inside.

Roderick, who suffered a broken leg in the fall, was clutching a pipe in deep water at the bottom of the shaft. His first words to his rescuer? "I want my mommy!"

The child was transported to Johns Hopkins Children's Center in Baltimore and treated for a broken leg.

Joseph Louderback

Photo by Joseph Louderback
Paramedics Mark Demski (wearing turnout pants and light blue shirt) and Henry Chinery (white shirt) stabilize 6-year-old Roderick D. Aguillard IV as Tony Scanga (from Station 30, Lutherville Volunteer Fire Company) helps to remove the boy from the well.


Photo by Joseph Louderback
Crews from Station 44, Hereford Volunteer Fire Company, work from the second floor of the well house after gaining access by removing the exterior wall and then the floor boards.


Photo by Joseph Louderback
Paramedic Henry Chinery, left, Roderick's mother, center, and Paramedic Mark Demski, right.


Photo by Joseph Louderback
Lieutenant Mark Gardner is assisted from the well house opening, after rescuing Roderick.


Photo by Joseph Louderback
Members of the Lineboro Volunteer Fire Company (Carroll County, MD), foreground, pack up the high-pressure air supply system from their air unit, which was used to pump air into the well. The crew at center comforts and informs Roderick's parents, and the crew at right prepares Roderick for his flight to Shock Trauma.


Photo by Joseph Louderback
View of the well from the second floor of the well house.


Photo by Joseph Louderback
Paramedics Mark Demski (light blue shirt with back to camera), Henry Chinery (white shirt) and EMS Supervisor John Bell, right, attend to 6-year-old Roderick as his parents look on.