It's just another day for Cedar Rapids firefighters. A day we're again reminded they're much more than a fire department.

Just before 9:40 a.m. this morning (Tuesday, May 23), a 911 call was received by the Joint Communications Agency, reporting a trapped worker in the 600 block of 1st Ave SW in Cedar Rapids.

Officers from the Cedar Rapids Police Department and specially-trained rescue teams from the Cedar Rapids Fire Department were dispatched to the scene. They found a man had been repairing utility lines to a business close by when a portion of the trench he was in collapsed, burying him from the waist down.

Emergency personnel were able to use special tools to both prevent further collapse and allow themselves to get into the hole and execute the rescue. The Cedar Rapids Fire Department estimates the hole was 8 to 10 feet in size.

The unnamed man was conscious throughout the rescue. He was taken by Area Ambulance to a local hospital for treatment of injuries to his lower body. The extent of his injuries is unknown.

In the photos at the top and below, firefighters can be seen removing equipment once the rescue was complete. Once their work was complete, workers from the Cedar Rapids Sewer Department used equipment to make sure there was no additional collapse of the trench.

Each year since 1996, the Cedar Rapids Fire Department has rescue teams that train for this type of incident. Today is the first time a worker has been trapped within the City of Cedar Rapids, requiring this type of rescue.

Mike Battien, Cedar Rapids Public Safety
Mike Battien, Cedar Rapids Public Safety

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