The Danville Life Saving Crew’s Dive Team was dispatched at 10:43 a.m. on Tuesday, August 15 to assist Bachelors Hall Volunteer Fire and Rescue. A man was trapped on the south side of the Dan River after his hand was caught underneath a fallen tree. The man was trimming trees alone when the accident occurred. A resident on the north side of the river heard his shouts and called 9-1-1.
Danville Life Saving Crew’s Special Operations Department and Pittsylvania County Special Ops arrived at Rocky Knoll Lane to deploy boats in the river. DLSC deployed two boats and a drone. Pittsylvania County Special Ops also deployed one boat. When the Pittsylvania County Sherriff’s Office arrived, they also sent their drone out. Drones were used to help the boats navigate the river and maneuver around rocks, and served as safety vantage point.
After approximately 20 minutes in the river, responders located the patient on the bank. Once his hand was freed, he was placed in a boat, brought upstream and placed in an ambulance. Bachelors Hall Volunteer Fire and Rescue transported the patient..
After the accident, a multi-agency post incident debriefing took place. This was an excellent example of teamwork within different organizations. This was the first time DLSC and Pittsylvania County Sheriff’s Department used drones on a mission. These newly acquired tools will continue to make rescue missions safer and quicker for first responders.