December 18 2018

Town Leaders Praise First Responders Who Rescued Man from Garbage Truck

By: Rich Hosford

Members of the Burlington Board of Selectmen joined leadership at the Burlington Police and Fire Departments in recognizing the quick work by first responders that lead to the rescue of a man in a very dangerous situation.


As reported on BNEWS, on November 16 at 4:41 a.m. police received a call from a cell phone but nobody was on the line. Soon after police were able to get in contact with a man who said he had been sleeping in a recycling bin behind Market Basket and that he had been picked up by a garbage truck and was now trapped in the back.


Police used a variety of tools to try and locate the phone. They also dispatched officers to search for garbage trucks and got in touch with Market Basket to inquire as to which garbage company they used.


Through this combination they were able to locate the truck behind Panera Bread on Cambridge Street. At that point the Fire Department arrived to try and get the man out of the truck. This task was made difficult due to the height of the truck which required two ladders, one to get the to the rim and another to get firefighters inside, to overcome. Another complication was that the man was entirely covered in wet cardboard that pulled apart as firefighters tried to dig him out.


The whole rescue makes a compelling story that you can read in full here.


Eventually first responders were able to get the man attached to a stretcher and lift him out of the truck using the tower truck. He was severely injured with a fractured back and neck and many small fractures of limbs. Members from Armstrong Ambulance were also on scene to help with the man's injuries.


On Monday night town officials and department leaders praised the quick response.


“The two departments do combined operations every day but this is a once in a lifetime situation,” Fire Chief Steve Yetman said. “It shows you the cooperation between the departments. This was an extraordinary event for us.”


“I want to commend everyone from both departments,” Selectman Jim Tigges said. “He is alive because of the people in this room, you are lifesavers.”


“It was a unique situation but not a unique story - I feel that a couple of times a year the Police and Fire Departments are here to be recognized,” Board Chairman Chris Hartling said. “On behalf of the board and also of the residents I thank all of you guys for the work you do.”


Finally, Town Administrator John Petrin said he hears from leaders in other towns that they look to Burlington has a leader in emergency response.


“I can say our Police and Fire Departments are leaders in their communities,” he said. “I hear all the time that Burlington is at the top of the heap in regards to police and fire.”


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