Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Technical Rescue

A vehicle crash left a Miami-Dade traffic-light technician trapped on his elevated lift atop his work truck, dangerously close to overhead power lines. It took firefighters from Miami-Dade Fire Rescue about an hour to safely remove the technician from his damaged hydraulic lift.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue responded to a traffic crash involving a traffic-light repair truck just in front of its Fire Rescue Headquarters. The closest unit was a Technical Rescue Team unit, USAR One. It was not only the closest unit, but it was the most appropriate unit.

When units arrived, they found the victim lying on an elevated platform just under overhead power lines. The victim could not move and firefighters could not safely lower the lift or climb on top of the lift because of structural damage to it.

Several fire department vehicles were placed around the lift truck. Many of the platform structural support beams were completely ripped from their mounts, creating an unstable and hazardous situation. Using cables, winches, and come-alongs, firefighters were able to secure the platform.

Cribbing was placed under the truck to prevent further motion because it was feared that the patient might fall from the platform.

A 75-foot Aerial truck was brought in for use as an overhead anchor point.

As Battalion Chief Tony Garcia assessed the scene and spoke with the patient, Lt. Mario Gonzalez and Firefighter T.W. Cyr from USAR One prepared for the technical rescue.

A metal rescue basket ("Stokes basket"), with a backboard, was lowered to the platform with Firefighter Cyr riding the basket. Lt. Gonzalez laddered the platform and locked into the Aerial. The patient was lowered to the ground and transported to a local area hospital.

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