Rescue

Firefighters observe the extrication of a construction worker who was injured after a piece of equipment fell down a 27-foot hole and onto the employee while working on sewer utilities Jan. 29.

Courtesy photo

Construction in Ridgefield took a dangerous turn when an equipment failure led to a worker stuck in a 27-foot hole the afternoon of Jan. 29.

At around 3 p.m. Clark County Fire & Rescue responded to the construction site of Kennedy Farms, a subdivision off of Hillhurst Road south of the Ridgefield School District’s future middle grades campus, on a report of an injured worker down a hole at the site. 

CCF&R Spokesman Tim Dawdy said a piece of equipment placed in the hole where work on sewer utilities was being done had failed and fallen on a worker at the bottom of the 27-foot hole, injuring the individual.

First responders secured the scene before rappelling down the hole to get to the worker to stabilize the individual, Dawdy said. First responders then activated the Southwest Washington, Region 4 Technical Rescue Team, a resource with individuals representing several area public safety departments, which brought in specialty extrication equipment.

The team was able to extricate the patient who was transferred to a local hospital, Dawdy said.

Although development has ramped up in Ridgefield in the last several years, Dawdy said he did not notice an uptick in construction site incidents involving technical rescue. He reasoned it was due to good safety practices by developers, commenting on how in this instance the equipment failure was purely accidental.

Apart from help by the rescue team as well as Fire District 6, Dawdy said a representative of the regional sewer district and an engineer from the city were also present at the scene, which he said were welcome resources during the event.

“It was really a team effort,” Dawdy remarked.

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