Crane used to rescue critically injured construction worker

A 28-year-old male sustained critical injuries

Tuesday, September 22 2015

A 28-year-old male sustained critical injuries when he fell down a partially built elevator shaft on a construction site in Centurion, Pretoria, this morning. An intricate, 30-minute operation involving a high-angle rescue, with the aid of a construction crane, was used to bring the man to safety.

According to witnesses on the scene, the man apparently lost his footing and fell from the fifth storey to the third storey of the building, through a partially constructed elevator shaft,” reports Shalen Ramduth, Netcare 911’s general manager of inland and aeromedical operations.

Two Netcare 911 ambulances and an emergency response vehicle, with advanced life support paramedic, arrived on the scene and found that the patient was in a critical condition, with suspected neck injuries and possible rib fractures. He was immediately stabilised and treated for shock and pain at the scene.”

The building site did not have stairs nor a lift so we needed to think of a way to get the patient safely down to ground level, without risking further damage to his spine. The Netcare 911 paramedics decided to call in the special Netcare 911 rescue service, Rescue 1, to assist with the evacuation of the injured man.”

According to Ramduth, the construction workers usually climb the scaffolding to get up and down the building site, but it would not have been possible to safely carry the patient down the scaffolding.

Ever resourceful, our rescue personnel decided that the best means of getting the man down was using one of the cranes at the building site,” he adds.

The patient was secured in a Stokes basket, which is a special stretcher or basked that is designed for use where there are obstacles to movement or other hazards, evacuation, and this was attached to the crane cable and gently lowered to a waiting Netcare 911 ambulance. The injured man was transported to hospital in a critical but stable condition for further treatment.”

Ramduth explains that Rescue 1 is a social responsibility project of Netcare 911. It is run as a free rescue service to the community and assists at major emergency incidents over a wide geographical area.

The Rescue 1 team works closely with all the other emergency services, operating to ensure the best possible outcomes for members of the community who are involved in such incidents,” he adds.

Issued by:    Martina Nicholson Associates (MNA) on behalf of Netcare 911
Contact:    Martina Nicholson, Graeme Swinney, Sarah Wilson and Meggan Saville
Telephone:    (011) 469 3016