Louisiana Trench Rescue

On July 6, 2005, fire departments from three parishes responded to a golf community for a trench rescue.

Workers were using an auger to dig a 2-3ft. diameter hole that was to be 50 ft. deep. When the workers pulled the auger out of the hole the sandy soil collapsed creating a hole 10-12ft wide and 12-15ft deep.

One worker fell into the hole and was trapped just below the waist. The crew placed a 30in. diameter pipe around him and worked about 30-45 minutes before calling for help.

Upon the arrival of West Feliciana Fire Dist. 1, they determined that they would require a technical rescue team. They lowered a harness to the worker, who had no obvious injuries. Assistance arrived from the East Baton Rouge Regional USAR Team and the LSU Fire and Emergency Training Institute.

A request was made for a vacuum truck and the worker was given a trowel and bucket to begin self rescue. He was connected to a 4:1 system while crews began shoring the hole. He was able to free only one leg, as the sand continued to fill in. After shoring was complete crews used the vacuum truck to remove the sand and he was removed using the 4:1.

From the time he fell in until he was removed was approximately six hours.

He was transported by Acadian Ambulance Air Med to the hospital, where he was treated and released.