On October 17, 2013 at 3:45 p.m., Livermore Pleasanton Fire Department was dispatched to Blakemore Court in Pleasanton for a technical rescue.
There was a man working in a trench when one of the walls gave way, burying him. The initial dispatch included one truck, one rescue unit, one engine, a Battalion Chief, from Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department and an ambulance from Paramedics Plus. From the updated information given, a rescue unit from Alameda County Fire Department was requested.
On scene it was found that a male worker who was working in a trench had become trapped when one of the walls caved in. He was buried to his chest initially. He and his co-workers were able to remove dirt to his stomach by the time the fire department arrived.
The trench was unstable and those helping the trapped victim were ordered to leave the trench. The walls of the trench were shored up using specialized equipment carried by the fire department. This equipment kept the walls from further sloughing off allowing the victim to be removed from the trench.
The victim did not sustain any major injuries. There were no firefighter injuries during the rescue. Total resources contributing to the success of this rescue were three Engines, one Truck, two Rescue units, one ambulance, one Battalion Chief, two Deputy Fire Chiefs and a utility unit. Trenches are dangerous places to be and should be avoided.
Trenches at construction sites usually follow strict guidelines to make the work environment safe but can still become unstable and cave in. Trenches are deeper than they are wide which is the reason the walls can cave in and injure someone inside the trench.