West Chester Fire Department

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Rescue Task Force deployment to East Whiteland Township
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By WCFD PIO team
April 21, 2023

Story from Chester County Rescue Task Force:

Shortly before 11:00 pm last evening, the Chester County Rescue Task Force was dispatched to assist Station 5 East Whiteland Fire Company with an “Environmental Rescue” at a massive quarry along Morehall Road in East Whiteland Township. Reports from Chester County Department of Emergency Services Communications noted that a juvenile was stuck on a ledge inside the quarry. Initial arriving crews had to first locate the person and then develop a rescue plan. While that was occurring, rescue technicians and support personnel from Station 47, Lionville Fire Company, Station 53, Fame Fire Co. No. 3 and Medic 2 Berwyn Fire Company were enroute. Once on scene, the incident commander directed units to the area of operation. CCRTF units were informed of the person’s general location, but due to the time of day and the distance from the roadway, it was difficult to pinpoint their exact location. Tower 47 and Rescue 5 along with an EMS unit were directed to the base of the quarry. Once there and setup, crews were able to determine that the person was awake but inaccessible from below. It was necessary to conduct a high angle rope rescue. Crews from Rescue 47 and Rescue 53 set up a twin-tensioned rope system above the victim. UAS 53-1 was flown into the quarry and provided guidance for the incident commander and rescue group supervisors. Station 47 Technician Sergio Michael Ora was lowered over the edge to establish visual and voice contact with the person. While he was being lowered more than 200’, crews assembled the Arizona Vortex as an artificial high directional to try to keep the ropes off the ground. Anchors were established using Rescue 53’s apparatus and a haul team was prepared. Once Technician Ora made contact with the person he secured him in a harness and helmet and provided him with a blanket. The person had been on the ledge, apparently, for several hours and was not dressed appropriately for the temperatures. Once the person was secured onto Technician Ora’s rope system, they both were hauled up to the top and the person was evaluated by EMS. It took about 40 minutes from when the rescuer was lowered over the edge to when both were safely back up top. All rescue personnel and equipment were secured from the edge. Rescue personnel operated for more than two hours to effect the rescue before being released by incident command.
This incident went very smoothly and demonstrated the benefits of team based training.


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