On February 14, 2004, Lynchburg, Virginia firefighters and technical rescuers responded to a motor vehicle accident involving two police officers.
At approximately 11:00 PM, the officers were responding to a help call from another officer, when the driver lost control of the vehicle and went over a 100 foot embankment, striking several trees before coming to a rest. Both officers were trapped in the unstable vehicle.
The first arriving company activated the technical rescue team after assessment of the scene. Activation of the team results in a medic unit, truck company, engine company, heavy rescue, Tech 1 (which carries specialized rescue equipment), and the tech rescue officer, all assigned to Station 1. All of the personnel at this station are trained to a minimum of Rope II, Confined Space operations, Trench Rescue Operations, Vehicle Extrication, and structural collapse.
Rescuers had to repel down to the scene, and set up haul systems to bring down all needed equipment. The winch on Rescue 1 was used to stabilize the vehicle before extrication could begin.
After removing the top of the vehicle and packaging the patients, haul systems were then used to extract the patients, personnel, and equipment. Due to the precarious positioning of the car and the distance required to remove the pateints, the incident lasted approximately four hours.
Both of the officers were transported by Lynchburg Fire and EMS medic units to Lynchburg General Hospital, a Level II trauma center.
Lynchburg Fire and EMS has nine stations, eight engines, two truck companies, 1 heavy rescue, 5 inservice medic units, and two battalion chiefs in a city of approximately 60,000 people and fifty-four square miles.