Fire officials show off team, equipment used in mine shaft rescue
PHOENIX - On Thursday, authorities involved in the rescue of a 17-year-old boy from a mineshaft a week ago held a news conference to show the people involved in the rescue, as well as the equipment used.
According to officials with MCSO, the 17-year-old, since identified as Jorden Schoen, was riding a quad when he fell in the shaft. Rescuers arriving at the scene found the boy at the bottom of the shaft with the ATV on top of him.
Almost a week after the rescue, the young man is still in the hospital with serious injuries. but he is expected to recover.
"He was able to at least acknowledge me when I said his name, so we knew he was breathing and talking," said Phoenix Fire Captain Bobby Dubnow.
Officials with Daisy Mountain Fire and Medical say their crews, along with firefighters from Phoenix, Glendale, and Peoria took part in the rescue. When firefighters finally found Jorden, they then had to battle a quickly sinking sun, the thick, stale air down a shaft that could cave-in at any moment, as well as rattlesnakes.
"That would’ve certainly compounded the complexity of a complex, ready if one of our guys would’ve been bit," said Capt. Dubnow
A piece of equipment used during the rescue is called an "Arizona Vortex." It is an aluminum tripod with a 600lbs weight limit, enough to pull out two people. A lone firefighter was hooked up and slipped down the cramped, pitch-black opening. He stabilized and secured the badly injured boy. Then, the two dozen firefighters up top hoisted them both up, in less time than it takes to deliver a pizza.
The last time Cpt. Dubnow worked on the mine rescue was 14 years ago. The rescue happened in the same area as Schoen's rescue, and sadly, the victim in that rescue did not survive.
Meanwhile, Schoen's family sent out a statement on Thursday, saying they are with him during his recovery, and that they can’t wait to meet the rescuers who saved him. They also remind everyone to wear a helmet, because it might save a life, like it did their son.