KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A construction worker was transported to the hospital Monday to be treated for injuries after something fell out of a crane and hit him in the head, KC Deputy Fire Chief Jimmy Walker said.
First responders quickly responded to the scene near 23rd and Oak Street around 9 a.m. to help remove the worker from the eighth floor of the structure where he was working, but they noticed the elevator only extended to the sixth floor.
To get the worker down, firefighters used the crane as an anchor point and a stokes basket to transport the worker to the sixth floor, down the elevator and into an ambulance.
“We stabilize the patient, so we make sure he’s in a position where he’s packaged and secure, as we say, so we put him and strap him down that way they’re OK,” Walker said. “When we lower the stokes basket down, we do have guide ropes that we do have other crews holding down to make sure that he doesn’t hit the building, and there’s a number of precautions we take when we effect a rescue like this.”
According to Walker, the worker was conscious, but he wasn’t able to get down to the ground level on his own. It was unclear of how severe the worker’s injuries are.
Walker said they have rescues of this difficulty a couple of times a year, and their extensive training helps them look at the situation the victim is in and find a creative way to get them out safely.
“That’s what we train for — once we know that we can’t take them down a traditional way we have to think outside the box, and that’s what our rescue companies train to do is think outside the box, and use the skills they use for these high angle rescue situations,” Walker said.
He said firefighters don’t just respond to blazes. They’re tasked with helping people in all kinds of situations whether it be medical, distress or danger.
“I think it’s another day in the life of a Kansas City firefighter,” Walker said. “Every day something different happens, and unique. The life of a firefighter, we never have the same call twice. While this is not a situation that happens every day, we’re put in positions where these things don’t happen to us every day, and that’s why we train.”