Delaware Firefighters Make Trench Rescue

It took two hours for rescuers to free the victim, who helped in the effort.


A trench accident in Sussex County, Del. brought several agencies to the 36000 block of Roxana Road to rescue a subject that was trapped outside a trench box at a sewer installation project.

Selbyville Fire Co. was dispatched along with the Sussex County Technical Rescue Team, Sussex County Paramedics, Roxana Fire Co. and Delaware State Police Trooper 2 to an excavation north of the Selbyville town limits where upon arrival crews found a subject approximately 10 feet down and engulfed up to his chest in dirt after the ground gave way and he fell into the excavation.

Command was established by Selbyville Fire Chief Bob Eckman who coordinated the rescue effort. Because of the limited amount of space to work in, rescuers took approximately two hours to extricate the subject who remained alert and conscious and even assisted with digging himself out.

After removing dirt and concrete debris from around the victim, a 4-1 mech. advantage with a sling was set up to haul the subject out of the space that eventually walked out after being hoisted up.

The patient was evaluated by Sussex County EMS and refused transport to the hospital. This was the first trench incident for the newly formed SCTRT who along with all the other agencies involved brought the incident to a safe and successful conclusion.