Fla. firefighters rescue man who fell 20 feet down manhole

Rescuers lowered a South Walton Fire District firefighter-paramedic into the hole to treat the man’s injuries before he could be hoisted out

Mark Price
The Charlotte Observer

WALTON COUNTY, Fla. — A construction site worker had to be rescued after he fell 20 feet down a manhole in the middle of a Florida street and got stuck, according to the South Walton Fire District in Walton County.

It happened Wednesday, Sept. 14, in the Watersound community, and it took rescuers an hour to get the man out, the fire district said in a news release. Watersound is “a secluded and stylish retreat” under construction about 80 miles east of Pensacola.

“Firefighters learned the man had fallen after being overcome by fumes from waterproofing the manhole,” fire district officials said.

“The man was unable to make it out of the hole under his own power, and firefighters worked to establish ventilation to the patient.”

Photos show the opening was only wide enough to fit one person at a time. That meant rescuers had to lower someone into the hole, treat the man’s injuries and then fit the patient into a harness to be raised out via a tripod, officials said.

“The man had no obvious injuries and (a rescuer) packaged him for extrication from the manhole,” officials said.

“Due to the nature of the call, SWFD requested Okaloosa MedFlight ... airlift the patient to a local trauma center for further medical evaluation.”

The identity of the man was not released. His injuries were determined to be “minor,” officials said.


©2022 The Charlotte Observer

McClatchy-Tribune News Service
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