Maury County Fire Department responded to mutual aid for Lewis County for a landslide incident where a man had been trapped for approximately 12 hours.

"For Immediate Release:
Technical Rescue Incident

The Maury County Fire Department responded on mutual aid to Lewis County to a reported landslide incident on Keg Springs Rd. in the Hampshire Community. Lewis County/Hohenwald Fire Departments arrived on the scene to find the face of a chert pit had collapsed onto a backhoe completely burying it.

Miraculously verbal contact was able to be made with the equipment operator who has been trapped for approximately 12 hours before being found by concerned family members who could not reach him by phone.

Only a small portion of the roof of the backhoe was visible. The operator stated that only his head and one arm was above the dirt, in a small void area under the roof of the backhoe. A pipe was placed down to the void area to provide fresh air to the operator.

Heavy equipment arrived on the scene which consisted of the following: a skid steer from a civilian, an excavator from Hohenwald Utilities, a backhoe from a civilian, and an excavator from Maury County Highway Department. The tremendous skill and precision displayed by these heavy equipment operators was pivotal to the successful outcome of this incident.

Incident command and operations were ran by Hohenwald/Lewis County FD and we cannot express how well they ran and executed on a very technical incident.

Fire Department members with Hohenwald, Lewis County, and Maury County began digging with shovels and formed a "bucket brigade" to remove dirt from the immediate area of the backhoe."

Maury County EOM while on the scene began air monitoring to ensure that heavy equipment was not putting CO into the small area where the patient was trapped also responded with lumber for shoring and walking in the event it was needed.

Maury Regional EMS paramedics provided O2 to the patient and specialized ALS care due to the amount of time the patient had been trapped.

The backhoe roof was cut off with a rotary saw while Maury County Highway Department cradled it with chains and lifted it off the backhoe.

After additional dirt was hand dug from around the patient he was successfully removed from the backhoe and taken to an EMS unit where he was transported to an awaiting VUMC Lifeflight Helicopter.

The operator was reported as being conscious and talking throughout the incident and even helped push dirt away from himself.

This was truly a team effort and all involved hope for a speedy recovery for the operator.