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Firefighter recalls ‘treacherous’ mine shaft rescue

Mike Brouillette described rescuing the teenage boy who fell down a mine shaft as “the most treacherous rescue call” he’s ever been on


By FireRescue1 Staff

GOLDEN, Colo. — A firefighter who rescued a teen after he fell into a mine shaft said it was the “most treacherous rescue call” he has ever been on.

KDVR reported that 20-year fire veteran and lead rescuer Mike Brouillette performed a high-angle rope rescue when a teenage boy fell into a mine shaft.

“These boys got a little too ambitious, went into the mine shaft and fell through,” Brouillette said. "This was by far, probably the most treacherous call I’ve been on, and it's because of the variables that we didn’t know: unknown air quality, darkness, temperature variances, potentially toxic air.”

Brouillette said the crew did not know how stable the ground was when he was lowered into the shaft, or how far down the boy was.

“If you imagine driving through a hailstorm, and you hear the hailstones hitting your car, that’s pretty much what happened to me the whole time," Brouillette said. “We were both stuck in that mine shaft. I had to get right next to him to be able to tie an improvised harness.”

The teen was rescued two hours later, with only a leg injury from the incident. He and his family thanked the crews who saved him shortly after the incident.

“He realized that he escaped one, his guardian angel was looking over his shoulder that particular day," Brouillette said.

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