By David Fleet
Brandon Twp. At 12:11 p.m., March 5, Brandon firefighters along with the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office deputies from the Brandon Substation responded to a man stuck in a shallow trench in the 1000 block of N. Hadley Road. Upon arrival the fire department found a 65 year old Almont man trapped in clay muck consistency up to his waist, unable to self-extricate.
“There was a lot of mud,” said Brandon Fire Chief David Kwapis. “As we got close to the septic field that was under construction we saw the man buried up to about his waist.”
The man informed firefighters he walked into the field and became stuck in the mud while working near the trench. Upon further investigation it was determined that additional assistance was needed from the North Oakland County Technical Rescue Team, for manpower and specialized technical rescue equipment
“He was not in any pain and in good spirits,” said Kwapis. “He was cracking jokes and interactive with rescuers. However, the muck was so wet it created a suction around his legs. As a result we laid down sheets of plywood around him and in the area to walk on so we could get closer.
“That created a more stable surface for rescuers to walk on.”
Kwapis said that if rescuers had just pulled him it could have damaged muscles and tendons. As a result, a Vactor Vacuum truck, from the Independence Township DPW was called in to suck the mud from around the victim. Water was added to the mud to make it more liquid allowing the vacuum to pull up the product with out clogging.
Kwapis said that after being stuck in the mud for several hours blood becomes stagnant. As a result the man was treated at the scene during the rescue.
“We appreciate the mutual aid from all the fire departments that responded,” he said. “The teams from many different communities all worked together and made a successful rescue.”