Nearly 50 Firefighters Needed To Rescue Man Who Fell Down Hole In Lake Matthews

Written by Trevor Montgomery

Riverside County News Source


A person walking near the intersection of Harley John and Mockingbird Canyon Roads near Lake Mathews fell into a manhole Thursday. The victim suffered a leg injury and was left stuck in the confined space, requiring firefighters to rescue him.


Photo Credit: Chief Geoff Pemberton

The accident was reported at about 12:35 p.m., near the edge of the unincorporated lake community south of the city of Riverside.

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Area where accident occurred. Click image to enlarge.

Witnesses called 911 to report the victim’s situation and that he reportedly could not get back out of the hole without assistance.


Photo Credit: Chief Geoff Pemberton

According to April Newman, a spokeswoman for the Riverside County Fire Department, emergency first responders arrived at the location within minutes and discovered the victim, “inside a deep, low-grade hole.”


Photo Credit: Captain Kemp

Newman said a total of 47 firefighters from four engine companies, two truck companies, and a hand crew, were requested to the scene to set up an extrication operation.


Photo Credit: Captain Kemp

Newman said the incident required the combined efforts of personnel from American Medical Response, CAL FIRE/Riverside, California Highway Patrol – Inland Division, Riverside County Fire Department and the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.


Photo Credit: Captain Kemp

At 1:25 p.m.with the arrival and set up of specialized confined space rescue equipment, a Breathing Support Unit, Riverside County Fire Department Hazardous Materials Support Unit, and the Urban Search and Rescue Team (USAR), firefighters were lowered down into the hole.

Photo Credit: Captain Kemp

According to Newman, the patient was extricated from the hole at 1:46 p.m. and transported to an area hospital with what she described as moderate leg injuries by 2:00 p.m.
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