At 1121 hours CFA brigades, Ambulance and SES were alerted to a High Angle Rescue of a worker at Yallourn W Power Station Yallourn.
The situation was that a contract worker was working on some scaffolding between the 2nd and 3rd level of the Unit 4 boiler of the power station. This unit was off line at the time for maintenance. The worker tripped and injured his ankle, also falling and striking his head on some hand railing, becoming unconscious for a short period of time.
Members of the onsite Fire and Security service “Estate Services” were notified and assisted the worker. They also notified Ambulance, CFA and SES to attend.
The worker was attended to quickly by the team of Estate Services, including an Industrial Nurse as well as members of the high angle rescue team (all trained in rope rescue using the twin rope method by CFA instructors).
When Ambulance Paramedics arrived on the scene, it was decided to extract the casualty using a back board and rescue litter due to him being approx 2metres below the 3rd level in the scaffolded area around the boiler. At the time he had suspected back and neck injuries.
When CFA crews from Newborough, Yallourn North, Morwell (including Rope rescue equipment and operators from Morwell) and SES crews attended the scene, Estate Services personnel had almost set up a rescue and belay line and had just about everything in place to perform the rescue. Leading Firefighters Julian Seri and Colin Corbett as well as Fire Fighter Nick Dent joined in the Rescue team for the set up and extraction.
As part of the response for this type of event in the Power Stations of Latrobe Valley, crews were also responded from Dandenong Brigade with the Dandenong Ladder Platform and the Dandenong Field Command Vehicle with Rope Rescue equipment and Rope Technicians. The Ladder platform was quickly called off as it would be of no assistance in this situation, but the Rope Technicians and equipment continued Code 3 just in case the rescue turned out to be more complicated than expected. They also turned back before arrival once the worker was removed.
The workman was packaged and removed from the scaffolding at 1230 hours, approx 1 hour after being called. SES members as well as members from Yallourn North and Newborough assisted in manual handling the patient to an Ambulance stretcher near the lifts on the 3rd level.
In this instance the workman only received a sprained ankle and was later cleared of any neck or back injuries.
Overall it was a good example of how Emergency Services Personnel and our Industry Partners work well together, with some of the diverse and complex events that can occur in the Latrobe Valley.
Brigades involved: Morwell, Newborough, Yallourn North, Dandenong.
SES and Ambulance Victoria also attended.