Man rescued after being pinned in 6 ft. trench for 4 hours

Saratoga County

CLIFTON PARK, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A 50-year-old man was rescued after spending nearly 4 hours stuck in a 6 ft. trench.

He was working at the Sitterly Manor Apartments when the ground gave out, trapping him in the dirt.

At approximately 5:06 PM, Saratoga County received a 911 call that a man was stuck in
a construction trench, and the walls of the trench were partially collapsed, with water filling the
trench.

The worker’s left leg was stuck and bent behind him, which made the rescue harder.

“There were times when it was hurting him. We had a doctor here in case we needed him. We had EMS here hooked up to IV giving him meds, so tremendous job by them.” said Clifton Park Deputy Fire Chief John VanChance.

After examining the scene, the Clifton Park Fire Department requested assistance from specialized units from the Colonie Fire Trench Rescue and the Momentive Fire,High Angle Rescue team to help.

It was a successful rescue as front responders worked tirelessly to free the worker and, at 8:18 PM, he was removed from the trench.

The man was treated by Clifton Park EMS and the Albany Medical Physicians Rapid Response
Team and subsequently transported to Albany Medical Center.


The Sheriff’s Office was assisted at the scene by the following agencies: Clifton Park Fire,
Jonesville Fire, Halfmoon Fire, Hillcrest Fire, Mechanicville Fire, Vischer Ferry Fire, West
Crescent Fire, Momentive Fire-High Angle Rescue Team, Colonie Fire-Trench Rescue Team,
Round Lake Fire, Saratoga County Fire Coordinators, Saratoga County EMS Coordinator, Town
of Clifton Park Highway Department, Town of Halfmoon Highway Department, Town of
Colonie Highway Department and the Colonie Police Department.

The Town of Colonie Trench Rescue Team was called in because they are the only trench rescue team in the Capital Region, and many local fire departments are not trained on trench rescue. The only other trench rescue team in New York is in Syracuse.

Incidents like this don’t occur often. The walls in the trench were very wet. They were also very deep in groundwater, and everything caved in around them.

The team at Sitterly Manor released a statement thanking the many crews who worked to rescue their team member, saying:

“Today we are relieved to report that our Sitterly Manor team member has survived a harrowing experience, and while in pain and injured., he is expected to make a full recovery after a maintenance incident left him unable to extract himself from a mud-filled culvert.

We are incredibly grateful to the many fire, police and emergency medicine personnel who came to our colleague’s aid.  The professionals and equipment that arrived at our site within minutes of reporting that a person was in distress was simply astonishing.  The skillfulness and expertise that was rendered in rescuing our colleague saved his life and limited his injuries.  We cannot adequately express our gratitude and appreciation for the commitment of these emergency responders.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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