Man hospitalized after falling nearly 18-feet into a trench in Downtown Austin

A man was hospitalized after falling nearly 18-feet into a trench in Downtown Austin. The man was working on a construction site on 8th and Colorado. About 40 EMS and Fire Rescue crews responded. It took about an hour to remove the man from the trench. He was taken to the hospital with serious injuries but was expected to be okay.

With more new buildings popping up in Austin, it means more difficulties for emergency responders. But Captain Rick Rutledge of the Austin-Travis County EMS said they are specially trained for those types of calls, “We have to be prepared to go to any of those areas with the proper equipment. We've grown along with the city as best we can as construction continues,” he said.

Emergency responders practice rescues on construction sites, “All of our medics have been placed for instance over construction sites, you see more and more of those where you're on long boards, laid out over girders, 30, 40, 50, feet in the air and that's where the patient is, we don't have a choice, we have to get there,” Capt. Rutledge said. "We train extensively, but the actual trench rescues are an uncommon type of rescue but because of the dangerous nature of being in a trench, you really want to make sure you've got extensive training,” said Eric Jakubauskas of the Austin-Travis County EMS.

They said construction sites can prove to be difficult for them when responding to calls. “It's a huge building, or a huge site, and they could be in a hole, they could be behind the building, they could be in a specialized piece of equipment, we don't know. It's really nice when people, who are going to call 911, if they can pause for a moment, get a good grip on their location, and what they know about the whole thing. Our goal is to save lives, and in order to do that we have to have people at the patient by the patient wherever they are,” Capt. Rutledge said.

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