At 6:30 PM, Rescue 45 was dispatched with other rescue companies from Station 72 (Chester County Rescue Task Force) for a Confined Space Rescue, to assist Station 33 (Honey Brook Fire Co.) with an agricultural rescue at a dairy farm on Horseshoe Pike in Honey Brook Township.
It was reported that a 3 year child had fallen into a covered manure pit, located under a barn and was unable to get out. The Incident Commander (Deputy 33 – J. Bailey) advised the CCRTF units that the victim was about 6′ to 10’ below grade in a large manure pit under the large barn floor. Initial crews from Rescue 33 attempted entry into one section of the pit, but quickly became stuck in the product. The IC removed his personnel and maintained visual and verbal contact with the young victim. The Station 33 team began air monitoring and ventilation while awaiting arrival of the task force resources.
Rescue 45 (Ass’t. Chief Wesson), Chief 47 (B. Minahan) and Rescue 47 (Lionville Fire Co.) were the initial CCRTF units to arrive at the scene. The teams from Rescue 45 and 47 assessed the scene and developed an rescue action plan. Two rescuers from Rescue 47 who were already in water rescue dry suits were placed on rope harnesses and became the entry team, while two more rescuers were ready as the backup team. Life line rope tag lines and air monitoring devices were attached to the entry team as they entered the pit through a 4′ x 6′ hatch opening outside of the barn. Because of the difficulty maneuvering in the manure, plywood was obtained from the farm and inserted into the pit. This plywood provided a more stable platform from which to work on, inside of the pit. The entry team quickly reached the victim, removed him from the manure and placed him in a stokes basket. He was removed to the outside and decontaminated and assessed by the waiting crews from Ambulance 189 (Elverson-Honey Brook EMS) and Medic 93 (Brandywine Hospital). He was awake and crying upon removal.
After a total on-scene team review of the incident, the crews spent a considerable amount of time decontaminating personnel and equipment at the farm, then again for an additional two hours after we returned to our station.
CCRTF Units on scene: Rescue 6 (West Whiteland), HAZ-MAT 15 (Chester County HAZ-MAT Team), Rescue 25 and Ladder 25 (Longwood), Boat/Squad 35 (Wagontown), Rescue 45 (Alert No. 1), Air-Light 46 (Minquas No. 2), Rescue 47 (Lionville), Rescue 53 (Fame No. 3-West Chester).
Photos are courtesy of CCRTF, Lionville and West Whiteland Fire Companies.