Industrial Rescue for Station 49-5

On Thursday 30 April at 1043 Hours, the Rescue Squad and Hunterdon Medical Center's mobile intensive care unit EMS-1 were dispatched to a construction site on Robin Hill Way in Raritan Township for a reported industrial rescue involving a "roller machine".


BLS Ambulances 4952 and 4955 responded, along with Heavy Rescue 495. While units were responding, additional information from county dispatch indicated that a soil compaction machine had "overturned into a septic system". Based on this information, Rescue Chief Tom Hoffman had the Hunterdon County Technical Rescue Task Force added to the assignment. The Raritan Township Fire Company was also added to establish an aeromedical landing zone.


On arrival, personnel found a single patient in a large excavation for a future septic bed. The excavation was about ten feet deep. Apparently, the victim was operating the soil compactor (an articulating machine with a steam roller-type drum on the front and big tires on the back) near the excavation when it began to overturn into the hole. The operator apparently jumped clear of the machine and was not pinned beneath it, but fell in the hole. The victim suffered injuries to his lower extremities as a result of the fall.

The EMTs from the Rescue Squad and EMS-1 paramedics accessed the patient via a ladder and initiated patient care. Meanwhile, the crew from Heavy Rescue 495 and Lambertville FD Tower Ladder 17 rigged a simple rope haul system and positioned a ground ladder in order to perform a reverse ladder slide in order to move the patient to ground level. Personnel was joined by an EMS Physician who also assisted with patient care. The balance of the HCTRTF units was recalled.

The patient was treated and packaged in a basket stretcher and then moved up to grade with the reverse ladder slide. The patient was then loaded aboard BLS Ambulance 4952 for transport to the nearby landing zone established by the RTFC. Once at the LZ, the patient was transferred to Atlantic Air 1 medevac and flown to St. Luke's Allentown Campus for the care of his injuries.

The cooperation of all responders contributed to a rapid operation to secure the best outcome for the patient. The incident was investigated by the Raritan Township Police Department. All units were clear and available within the hour.