Excavator Over A Cliff? Firefighters Deal With The Cold

Lake Michigan 3 Lake Michigan 5

Thanks again to all of our public safety workers. They never know what the next call will bring.

From the fire chief …

Earlier today, SMFD units assisted the Oak Creek Fire Department at the scene of a mobile home fire in the area of 27th & College Avenue’s. Upon returning to the station from that fire, personnel were closely monitoring radio traffic from the Oak Creek Fire Department who were now responding to a report of a large excavator that was driven over the lake bank and ended up in Lake Michigan, approximately 25’ from the shore. The lake bank at the location is approximately 200’ high and very inaccessible because of brush and construction debris. Hearing that OCFD had no way to conduct a search of the cab of the excavator to determine if there were any occupants, SMFD offered up the services of their inflatable rescue raft and personnel to perform the search. Our larger rescue boat is currently in storage for the winter and unavailable. Oak Creek accepted the offer and our inflatable raft was launched from the South Milwaukee Yacht Club with two personnel in cold water suits on board. Upon arriving at the scene, the crew in the rescue raft conducted a cursory search of the machine from the boat and then beached the boat in order to conduct a more in-depth search of the cab and surrounding shoreline area. All searches turned up negative.

 Once again, the crew from SMFD did an outstanding job of maintaining their personal safety while completing their mission under very difficult conditions. The air temperature at the time of the incident was 18 degrees with winds out of the North at 10-15mph resulting in wind chills near 5 degrees. In addition, the Lake Michigan water temperature is approximately 40 degrees with 3’-5’ waves.

More details on the department’s Facebook page.

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