Building collapses in
Photos by Capt. Ben Waller,
Firefighters Cunningham, Harden.
Story by Jason Walters
Hilton Head Island Fire Rescue/Truck
On 10/5/04 Hilton Head Island Fire Rescue
units were dispatched to a construction site for an unknown medial call.
Medic 3 arrived to find a partial building collapse with four patients
self extricated and one confirmed trapped under the freshly poured concrete
Battalion 1 arrived and requested response
from Engine 6, Truck 6 and activated Battalion 2. Truck 6 crews began to
complete a structural assessment and requested the response of Rescue 1
(the collapse unit). Battalion 1 attempted to locate the victim by scanning
the area with a thermal imager prior to the Truck company’s arrival.
After the structural assessment was complete
it was determined that the exterior walls were sound and there would be
minimal shoring needed. Crews worked to gain better access as an
intensive search through approximately 10” of fresh concrete, rebar, and
steel decking continued.
Approximately thirty minutes into the incident
the victim’s leg was located under the steel decking but there was virtually
no access to him.
With the use of hydraulic cutters, spreaders,
rams, pneumatic lifting bags, an exothermic torch, circular saw with diamond
blade, various hand tools and shoring devices, the victim was removed from
the debris within 10 minutes of locating him. The victim was completely
wrapped in several layers of steel decking and rebar.
Each section of decking and rebar had to
be displaced, cut, and shored to free the victim. Unfortunately the victim
was deceased when crews from Truck 6 were able to gain access.
Crews from Truck 6 and Engine 6 were busy
for several hours cleaning the wet concrete from all equipment used. Truck
6’s shift also included an auto accident with entrapment x1.