Victim Trapped in Garbage Truck

Tour Commander, 509.625.7100

Monday, September 28, 2020 at 1:27 p.m.

At approximately 9:01 am, the Spokane Fire Department (SFD), along with automatic aid partner Spokane County Fire District 9, responded to the 9700 Block of North Newport Highway on a report of a possible Technical Rescue.

Initial 9-1-1 reports from SFD Dispatchers indicated that a male victim stuck was trapped inside a garbage truck. Fire units arrived just minutes after dispatch and reported a patient trapped in the back of a City of Spokane garbage truck. The male victim had been sleeping in a dumpster located within the Northpointe Plaza when a unit from the City of Spokane's Solid Waste Collection unloaded a commercial garbage dumpster into the back of their collection vehicle. The vehicle operator heard a person yelling from inside the enclosed cargo box and immediately stopped operations to investigate. The driver discovered a male victim stuck inside the cargo box with unknown injuries; the driver immediately called 9-1-1.

Upon arrival, fire units ensured the tailgate and hopper openings were both open and accessible to allow access to the patient and to provide air circulation within the confined space. Firefighters also confirmed all hydraulic regulators were controlled and shut off to prevent further complications. Within 10 minutes of arrival, fire crews had extricated the victim from the garbage truck's cargo box and packaged him for transport.

The patient suffered several undetermined traumatic injuries due to the accident.