A workman was rescued by firefighters using techniques usually employed during cave and urban search operations, according to Chattanooga Fire Department spokesman Bruce Garner.
The victim accidentally fell about 15 feet into a hopper at Sherman Dixie Concrete Industry about 8 a.m., Mr. Garner said.
Firefighters responded to the plant at 3950 Cromwell Road to find the worker was injured in the fall and unable to get out on his own, Mr. Garner said.
Chattanooga firefighters are undergoing training in Urban Search and Rescue and recognized the situation today as a “confined space rescue” that required special equipment, he said.
Battalion Chief Winston Shields called for assistance from the Tri-Community Volunteer Fire Department, which had the needed equipment.
While some firefighters monitored air quality inside the hopper, others lowered themselves into the pit and secured the victim in a rescue basket, Mr. Garner said.
When Tri-Community firefighters arrived, the injured man was raised from the pit by firefighters using newly learned rope rescue techniques, he said.
Hamilton County EMS paramedics took the victim to Erlanger hospital for evaluation, Mr. Garner said.
See tomorrow’s Times Free Press for complete coverage.