Firefighters rescue 2 workers stuck in elevator 6 stories high

Firefighters used harnesses and ropes to lower the two men six stories to the ground safely

By Sasha Zidar
The Grand Rapids Press

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Two men who were stuck in an elevator lift outside the sixth floors of Grand Rapids City Hall are safe after a dramatic rescue Thursday.

Firefighters used harnesses and ropes to lower the two men six stories to the ground safely.

The two workers, who declined to be identified, with a private company got stuck in an elevator lift for 45 minutes after the emergency brake engaged.

They were trapped between the sixth and seventh floors, according to Grand Rapids Battalion Chief David Noorman.

Firefighters deployed their rescue team to the 10th floor to access the two men were trapped on the elevator lift.

Noorman said firefighters put the two men in harnesses and lowered them down to safety, one by one. One of the firefighters was first lowered down in a basket to the lift to assist the workers. Both workers were examined by paramedics on the ground.

High Angle Rope Rescue at Grand Rapids City Hall

Our Fire Department’s training was on full display this morning at City Hall during the rescue of two contract workers from a stuck material hoist outside the building seven stories up. No one was injured during the rescue, and both workers were in good spirits following the incident. The workers are part of the team that’s replacing the building’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning system. The hoist’s emergency brake was tripped and could not be reset. The team is working to resolve the issue.

Posted by The City of Grand Rapids on Thursday, January 3, 2019


No one was injured during the rescue.

Other workers who witnessed the rescue clapped when both men were safely on the ground.

“Their procedures are, if the emergency break locks up, they don’t use that lift anymore,” Noorman said. “They were out there for an estimated 45 minutes in the cold and the wind and we were able to assist them down to safety.”

The first of two phases of an $11-million project to renovate the shared Grand Rapids City Hall and Kent County administration building kicked off in October. The project involves the replacement of the building’s 49-year-old heating, ventilation and air conditioning system components.

The two men were working on the construction project at the building.

Copyright 2019 The Grand Rapids Press

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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