Worker rescued after fall at Scottsdale water treatment plant


by Jennifer Thomas

Video report by Jill Galus

Posted on January 30, 2014 at 9:27 AM

Updated Monday, Feb 3 at 10:29 AM

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – An employee at a Scottsdale water treatment plant was rescued after he fell off a pipe while working in a 20-foot-deep concrete vault Thursday morning.

Technical rescue teams from the Scottsdale and Phoenix fire departments responded to the facility near Union Hills Drive and Pima Road at about 8 a.m.

The employee was working on a large pipe inside an open-air vault when he fell about 5 feet onto a concrete floor, according to Capt. Danny Ables with the Scottsdale Fire Department.

"He was in a lot of pain so my partner and I are both paramedics, we administered some pain relief, got him as comfortable as we could and then packaged him up in some specialized extrication equipment that we carry and the crews hoisted him out," said Rick Bucher with the Scottsdale Fire Department.

The rescue took less than an hour.

"This definitely could have been a whole lot worse," Bucher said. "Any time we hear a dispatch for a confined space rescue we immediately start thinking kind of worst-case scenario."

The 55-year-old man was placed in an ambulance and transported to a hospital for treatment of his injuries.

"We're talking about some possible broken bones, nothing life-threatening, but we did take some good precautions in case he hurt his neck and back," Bucher said.