District 5 Operations Officer Henry Barton said the construction worker had been working on a platform inside the partly constructed wind turbine when he was hit on the head by a piece of equipment which deflected on to his shoulder.
“He was wearing a helmet when he was hit and had a minor head injury and injuries to his shoulder. When the ambulance officers arrived they went up to stabilise him first and then the rescue team went up,” OO Barton said.
An emergency management team was formed on the ground and it took about an hour and a half to conduct the rescue. It was a joint effort between CFA, SES, Victoria Police, Ambulance Victoria and the owners of the Macarthur Wind Farm.
About 35 firefighters from Hamilton, Warrnambool, Casterton, Macarthur and Broadwater were part of the operation.
The man was placed in a confined space rescue stretcher and then vertically lowered inside the turbine. He was then airlifted to the Alfred Hospital.
OO Barton said firefighters had participated in a number of technical rescue training events in recent years, but this was the first one in a wind turbine.
“We’ve had different incidents over the years where technical rescue techniques were used but this was the first at a wind farm. Everything went really smoothly, I very happy with how it all went. There was great cooperation among all the agencies.”
OO Barton said debriefing sessions would be conducted in the coming weeks between the emergency service agencies and the wind farm owners to look for ways to improve for the future.