September 22, 2023

Woman Rescued from Machine in Claymont, Delaware



Communications notified us of a *RESCUE W-ENTRAPMENT* in a local shopping center. Upon Chief Hassel going on radio, enroute to the call, communications notified him that it was a female with her hand caught in some sort of machine. Rescue-13 (Heavy Rescue) hit the street along with EMS. The Chief arrived within about 2 minutes confirming the radio report and asking for an add’l medic unit and the helo. He reported he has a female with her hair/hand caught in a machine. Rescue 13 arrived with Asst. Chief J. Ballas as the officer and he immediately took operations as the crew determined exactly how she was caught. The first priority was securing and locking out the power to the machine. The machine was some sort of small conveyor (about 4 foot off the ground). From what we could tell, her hair was caught and she grabbed the back of her head/hair and was pulled into the machine. Her hair was wrapped at least twice around the rollers and we initially had to determine the extent of her hand injury as it was covered in hair, although there was no signs of loss of blood. The Pt remained conscious and alert the entire time. We cut the belt off the roller to remove any tension from the belt. It was also necessary to remove a small stainless steel cover so we could see further into the rollers. This also gave us better access. It was determined that getting a small pair of scissors behind her head, between her hand and scalp and cutting away some hair was necessary to determining how entangled her hand was. After several minutes of cutting away hair, we could tell the hand was wrapped up mostly in hair and only one finger was caught between a roller gear and the side casing of the machine. Once enough hair was removed and the side casing was loosened, we were able to remove her hand, freeing her from the machine. EMS/MEDIC’s were talking to her the entire time and a IV started with meds given for pain. The crew utilized common sense, good judgement and a small array of hand tools (socket set, scissors, wrench set and hand lights) to free her in under 20 minutes.

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