Decatur dump employee extricated from compactor

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A coordinated effort by first responders freed a Wise County dump employee that got stuck in a compactor at the Decatur dump Saturday afternoon.

Larry Stevens was the sole employee working at the dump when his leg got ensnared in a cardboard recycling compactor around 2:20 p.m, said interim Public Works Director Glenn Hughes.

Stevens was extricated from the compactor and transported to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth around 3:40 p.m.

Shortly after being pinned, firefighters from Decatur Fire Department sawed a hole in the top of the compactor and began working to clear debris blocking Stevens’ foot. It took around an hour of intensive work to free him.

“Between the county rescue trucks and Decatur fire, we were able to cut a hole in the top of the container and offload cardboard from the top and from the inside on the civilian low side to free him up,” Decatur Fire Captain Nate Mara said.

“You don’t train on this every day,” Mara added. “We just treated it like a confined space rescue. We put a couple of plans into play. One from the top and one from the bottom. EMS did a great job of keeping him stable, and we were able to offload that cardboard and get him out.”

Additionally, Oncor Electric employees cut off power to the dump to aid in the rescue, and Decatur PD helped in the extrication effort.

“It was truly a joint effort,” Mara added.

Hughes did not know details on how Stevens got stuck in the compactor, just that he was the only employee working at the site at that time.

He said the dump will be closed until further notice.





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