Teenaged Boy Saved from Collapsed Home in Delaware

On Sunday, May 6, at 1508 hours, Sussex Del. Emergency Operations Center alerted Stations 77 (Georgetown), 93 (Georgetown EMS), Sussex County Medic 108, Medic 103, and Delaware State Police Trooper 2 for a reported structure collapse just off Lewes Georgetown Highway, in Georgetown, Del. In a recently built development off of the highway, approximately 1/4-mile in a wooded area, two teenage boys were in an old structure when it began to collapse.

One of the teens was trapped and the other managed to remove himself and go call 911. While responding, Georgetown Assistant Chief Joey Pepper was given additional information about the trapped teen being underneath cinder blocks. Upon hearing this, Chief Pepper requested a rescue assist from the Milton Fire Company (Station 85) and the alerting of the Sussex County Technical Rescue Team. Chief Pepper established Incident Command, and assigned Special Ops. 15 Chuck Snyder, the Collapse Sector. Chief Officers from the Georgetown Fire Department also covered the Safety and Communications sectors, while Sussex County EMS managed the Medical Sector.

Special Ops 15 then evaluated the situation for the remaining SCTRT members. The trapped teenager was near a corner when the structure, in a pancake style collapse, pinned him from the waist down. As the structure was continually evaluated, SCTRT members, under the guidance of Lt. Tommy Moore, as well as additional fire personnel, made entry and began to stabilize the structure using struts. SCTRT members and fire personnel also established numerous outside teams and safety teams for the entire operation. High lift airbags were used with the support of high pressure airbags from Georgetown Fire Department to raise the roofing section that was trapping the teen.

The method of communication from interior to exterior teams, while inflating the bags, was a relay system focusing on the proper color coded airline and bag to be inflated. As members moved in to access the teen and begin patient assessment, additional lifting and stabilizing of the building was done. When the process of lifting and shoring was completed, the teen was then stabilized and then packaged for removal to the outside.

Once the teen was removed, he was then placed in an ambulance and treated for a fractured femur and additional crush injuries, before being loaded onto Trooper 2 and flown to Christiana Hospital in Christiana.

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