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Six Trapped Children Rescued by Rappelling Firemen After Elevator Breaks Down

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When six kids in Wayne, New Jersey, headed for a trampoline park on Friday night, they were looking forward to a fun evening.

Instead, the elevator they were using broke down, trapping them as the temperature rose and multiple agencies tried to figure out how to reach them.

The kids, aged 10 to 14, had to sit and wait as technicians and first responders assessed the scene.

“A technician was called and attempted to operate the elevator from a control panel without success,” Police Detective Captain Dan Daly told the Daily Voice.


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For an hour, first responders and the technician tried to figure out how to get the elevator to cooperate, but then the Wayne Fire Department Special Response Team stepped in when it was clear no progress was being made.

The team, led by Fire Company No. 2 Chief Paul Gleba and Company No. 1 Chief Greg Laskowski, determined that a high-angle rescue would be their best bet.

The elevator was stuck 25 feet below the upper floor, and firefighters Michael Leonard and Anthony Gabriel anchored themselves on that level to perform the rescue.

“After over an hour and multiple attempts to reset the elevator by the FD and elevator mechanic, the decision was made to remove the patients by rope rescue as the elevator temperature climbed to dangerous levels for extended occupancy,” the Wayne Fire Company #5 posted on Facebook.

“Elevator rope rescues are always a last resort and only performed when all other options have been exhausted or the quick removal of the patient is crucial to their well-being.

“The Special Response Team [SRT] was activated and two firefighters were lowered down to the elevator car to harness the patients. All six children and rescuers were hoisted using a 4:1 pulley system and safely removed from the elevator.”

“They systematically rescued each juvenile one at a time by rigging them to a line in a harness and hoisting them up,” Daly added, according to the Daily Voice.


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The whole operation took about two and a half hours, but all six were rescued, checked by a medical team and found to be unharmed.

Parents, guardians and locals were very thankful for the special response team and their training, which allowed them to safely extract the children from the elevator.

Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she’s strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.

As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn’t really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she’s had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children’s books with her husband, Edward.


Austin, Texas

Languages Spoken

English und ein bißchen Deutsch

Topics of Expertise

Faith, Animals, Cooking

Western Journal

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