HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - A 71-year-old woman is in stable condition after being trapped inside a trash compactor on Tuesday night.
The incident occurred at an apartment complex located at Centerway Drive and Virginia Center Parkway in Henrico County.
“Bad luck sometimes just gets people and that’s where we come in to help," explained Jackson Baynard, Special Operations Battalion Chief.
He said the woman dropped her keys in the trash and used a ladder to try to get them back, but the ladder slipped pushing a button on the side of the compactor.
“Fortunately, some of her friends were there and were able to take quick action and hit the emergency stop button," he said.
Baynard said the woman apartment complex is across the street from Fire Station 21. Eleven units, including the technical rescue team and 25 firefighters, worked for more than an hour Tuesday night to safely get the woman out of the compactor. Baynard said technical rescues like these are all about having more than one plan and working as a team.
“There’s actually a heater a warmer that can blow warm air in that confined space, so we were able to use that to help with blowing warm air on the patient to try to keep her comfortable," he explained. “At one point the cut a whole in the trash compactor to access some of the debris and pull it out.”
The woman was rescued around 9:30 p.m. by the Henrico Fire Department.
“We are very grateful for the outcome - we were glad we were able to help her and hope she continues to do well," said Baynard.