The Toledo Fire & Rescue Department responded to what was dispatched as a car crash on July 3, 2013. Upon arrival they found a huge sinkhole that swallowed up a car with the driver still inside. First due was a squad (hazmat, confined space, MIM) and an engine. Station 5’s technical rescue crew was diving for a missing child at the time. The atmosphere in the hole was checked, a ladder thrown into the hole, and a single rescuer descended into the hole to assist the ambulatory driver out.
There are so many variables and what ifs for this incident, however the crews kept it simple and quickly rescued the victim. This is one of those risk a lot to save a lot scenarios. Conditions were changing as water was filling the hole and gas utilities were also in the hole.
The video below is footage from above that gives you a pretty good perspective of the incident scope. Spend some time discussing what your crews response and initial actions would be for this incident. For some reason we are hearing and seeing more sinkhole related incidents. Be ready to work through the multitude of challenges you may face. Just like the Toledo crews did; keep it simple if possible and perform the rescue in the safest and fastest manner for both the victim and rescuers.
Pass it on!