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August 11, 2020
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Updated: Aug. 11 (04:07)

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Highlands Ranch Trench Rescue
Posted On: Jul 25, 2020

Just before 9 a.m. on Thursday, July 16, 2020, Local members responded to a trench rescue on Desert Willow Road in Highlands Ranch. Workers were applying a tar-like adhesive to the foundation of a home when one person was overcome by fumes. First arriving Tower 18 found the adult victim below grade in medical distress and unable to escape. Members immediately entered the trench with breathing protection to provide treatment while additional resources were responding. The trench was unprotected so extreme caution was needed to prevent a collapse from occurring. A hose line was placed in case the fumes ignited and the Hazardous Materials Team monitored air conditions. Members of the Technical Rescue Team who are specially trained in low frequency, high risk rescues, arrived and assisted with getting the victim out safely. Approximately 30 minutes passed from the 911 call until the victim was successfully removed. Members used a hose line to decontaminate the person who was quickly transported to the hospital in serious condition. The work being done on site is not regulated by the fire department or the building department, but the SMFR Fire Marshal’s Office is assisting the workers with education about how to be safer in the future.

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