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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Challenging Rescue in Brandywine Gravel Pits

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930

Prince George's County Firefighter/Medics were faced with a challenging extrication this morning in Brandywine.  At around 8:00 am Fire/EMS units were alerted to an incident involving a tractor trailer turning over and trapping the driver underneath the cab of the truck.  Units located the incident on the grounds of a gravel pit in the 14700 block of Gibbons Church Road in Brandywine.

An open bed tractor trailer was in the process of dumping it's load of gravel and had the bed of the truck elevated in the dump position.  The truck started to list towards it's left and quickly fell onto it's side trapping the driver between the gravel ground and the cab of the truck.  The patient, an adult male, remained conscious and communicated with his rescuers throughout the rescue.  After stabilizing the truck firefighters used their heavy-duty hydraulic tools to start cutting away the cab of the truck and remove the parts that were pinning the victim underneath the truck.

After about 40 minutes of work the patient was able to be safely removed.  The Maryland State Police meda-vac helicopter "Trooper 2" had been summoned and was standing-by at a nearby church parking lot.  Paramedics on the scene of the rescue packaged the patient before a quick trip by helicopter to a trauma center.  The victim was suffering from serious injuries to his legs.  His injuries are considered non-life threatening.

The incident commander, Battalion Chief Denice L. Dickens, had requested the Fire/EMS Departments Technical Services Team to the scene in the event their services would be needed, however, the heavy-duty rescue squad from the Brandywine Fire/EMS Station had successfully extricated the patient before the specialty teams arrival.

Side Note - Battalion Chief Dickens has announced her retirement from the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department after a long and successful career.  She will work until the end of the year.  Congratulations and best of luck to Denice, your skills, leadership and expertise will be missed!!! 

Photos courtesy of PGFD.

Portions of the truck cab were removed by firefighters in order to remove the trapped victim.

Note the soft gravel surface on which the truck laid.  The soft surface more than likely
prevented more serious crushing injuries to the victim.

The bed of the tractor trailer is still in the "dump" position as it was when it toppled over.

The underside of the truck again note the softer gravel surface.