Monday, February 19, 2007


Elyria Fire Department received a call this afternoon of a woman trapped under an awning that had collapsed at the Cleveland Street Invacare.

"We arrived on scene with two engines and our Rescue truck; it took 32 minutes to extricate the victim. She was in an outside designated smoking area when the awning collapsed. We used our Jaws of Life and airbags to extricate the young lady. The victim was conscious but was obviously in a lot of pain." Captain Robert Donofrio, Elyria Fire Department.

We asked Captain Donofrio to explain how the extrication went. “Basically it’s like a wedge, you have to slide an airbag underneath between the individual and whatever is holding her down and then you inflate the airbag, it almost turns into a large pillow and then you put some shoring equipment underneath, that’s cribbing equipment and then you deflate it and then you go a little bit deeper and increase it and it opens up kind of like a clam shell.”

"She is one of our associates that works in the warehouse here, one of about 40 and she was taking a break when unfortunately the roof caved in. We are going to do our own investigation at this time and we have some of our people checking other roof tops similar to this one to see if we need to do anything to secure them." Joe Usaj, Human Resources manager from Invacare.

Usaj also wanted to thank the Elyria Fire Department, LifeCare Ambulance, Elyria Police Department and all the other rescuers who helped our associate. “Their response time was amazing and they were extremely professional and did an outstanding job getting her out of there safely and quickly. Our prayers and thoughts are with our associate tonight."

Metro Life Flight landed at the scene and took over care from the LifeCare Paramedics. The victim was then flown to Metro Health Medical Center in Cleveland.

To see more photos: CLICK HERE


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