Miami-Dade Technical Rescue Call

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue (MDFR) firefighters lowered two construction workers to safety after falling debris trapped the workers on a high-rise under construction.

When firefighters climbed to the roof and started extricating the victims, they recognized the need for a vertical rescue using a rescue basket. Miami-Dade's south end Technical Rescue Team, Squrt 43, was dispatched to the scene.

Battalion Chief Jim Gillis directed operations while the TRT officer, Lt. George Izquierdo, assessed options from the top floor. Given the height and accessibility limitations of the area, Squrt 43's positioning options were limited. It was decided to use a crane at the construction site to lower the victims in a Stokes basket.

Two patents were escorted down from the top floor by MDFR personnel. Two victims were on backboards and were lowered by a rescue basket to awaiting crews on the ground. One of the victims met Trauma Alert criteria and was flown to Ryder Trauma Center by MDFR's Air Rescue.

MDFR Firefighter Tony Rivera rode the basket down with the patients during both lowering operations. The operation went quickly and safely.

The cause of the collapse is under investigation.