Kalamazoo, MI: On November 4, 2019, at 4:45 AM, Officers from the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety were sent to the 1200 block of Portage Street for the report of a man stuck inside the body of a garbage truck. The driver of the truck called to report the incident after he heard the man screaming from the rear of his truck. He had not yet compressed the garbage, saving the man from serious injury or death. Apparently, the trapped man had been sleeping in the dumpster, and failed to get out in time when it was being emptied into the garbage truck.
Officers who arrived on scene made contact with the victim, and requested assistance of the KDPS Technical Rescue Team to remove him. The team was able to make access to the victim by using ladders to climb down into the body of the truck from the top of the container. The trapped man was assisted out of the confined space, and lowered to medical units by rope from the top of the truck. The awaiting ambulance then transported the man to a local hospital for minor wounds.
The total operation took approximately 90 minutes to safety extricate the trapped man from the garbage truck. This is first activation of the Kalamazoo Tech Rescue Team, which has been in operation for approximately one year. The team, consisting of 21 members of KDPS, is trained in rope, confined space, trench, and collapse rescue operations, and is part of the Michigan 5th District Technical Rescue Team. The team trains monthly in preparation for incidents like the one described above.
Anyone with information on this incident is encouraged to call the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety at 269-488-8911, Silent Observer at 269-343-2100 or www.kalamazoosilentobserver.com.
By authority of: Lt. Timothy Loso
Date: November 4, 2019
Address: 150 E. Crosstown Pkwy., Suite A, Kalamazoo, MI 49001
Contact: Captain Matt Huber, KDPS Operations