Shortly before 2PM on Thursday, units were dispatched to Montgomery Mall in Company 26’s first due for the report of a structural collapse. Units on scene found structural damage to the parking garage that was under construction/demolition for improvements in the mall. As a result of the partial collapse, two construction workers had become trapped. When rescue workers reached the patients trapped, they found one expired and one male who was partially trapped, but conscious.
This incident brought in units from all around Montgomery County as the Urban Search and Rescue Task Force (USAR) assembled. USAR personnel are specifically trained to be able to handle large-scale structural collapse and rescue, and as such were instrumental to the patient’s rescue. This incident also saw the implementation of University of Maryland’s R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center “GO-TEAM”. The GO-TEAM provides on scene surgical doctors and support staff that can perform surgical procedures on the scenes of incidents where patients have become trapped, or will be trapped for an extended period of time. Finally, Maryland State Police Aviation Command used their helicopters, known as “Troopers” for patient and resource transport.
A710 from Cabin John Park VFD was dispatched on the initial assignment and ended up providing transport for the GO-TEAM and other resources between the incident location and the Cabin John Park sports fields.
This incident saw many of Montgomery County’s many resources put to use from volunteers providing food and beverage on scene to rescue workers all the way to USAR TF1. A structure collapse that traps individuals is an extremely rare occurrence but in this case it showed the diversity of resources available to the citizens of Montgomery County, the State of Maryland, and the United States that are available in our backyard.
Report of Incident From ABC7: