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Firemen Rappel Down Elevator Shaft to Save Six Trapped Children on Hot, Broken-Down Elevator

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When six kids in Wayne, New Jersey, headed for a trampoline park on Friday night, they were looking forward to a fun evening.

Instead, the elevator they were using broke down, trapping them as the temperature rose and multiple agencies tried to figure out how to reach them.

The kids, aged 10 to 14, had to sit and wait as technicians and first responders assessed the scene.

“A technician was called and attempted to operate the elevator from a control panel without success,” Police Detective Captain Dan Daly told the Daily Voice.

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For an hour, first responders and the technician tried to figure out how to get the elevator to cooperate, but then the Wayne Fire Department Special Response Team stepped in when it was clear no progress was being made.

The team, led by Fire Company No. 2 Chief Paul Gleba and Company No. 1 Chief Greg Laskowski, determined that a high-angle rescue would be their best bet.

The elevator was stuck 25 feet below the upper floor, and firefighters Michael Leonard and Anthony Gabriel anchored themselves on that level to perform the rescue.

“After over an hour and multiple attempts to reset the elevator by the FD and elevator mechanic, the decision was made to remove the patients by rope rescue as the elevator temperature climbed to dangerous levels for extended occupancy,” the Wayne Fire Company #5 posted on Facebook.

“Elevator rope rescues are always a last resort and only performed when all other options have been exhausted or the quick removal of the patient is crucial to their well-being.

“The Special Response Team [SRT] was activated and two firefighters were lowered down to the elevator car to harness the patients. All six children and rescuers were hoisted using a 4:1 pulley system and safely removed from the elevator.”

“They systematically rescued each juvenile one at a time by rigging them to a line in a harness and hoisting them up,” Daly added, according to the Daily Voice.

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The whole operation took about two and a half hours, but all six were rescued, checked by a medical team and found to be unharmed.

Parents, guardians and locals were very thankful for the special response team and their training, which allowed them to safely extract the children from the elevator.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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