6 children trapped in elevator saved by rappelling Wayne, NJ firefighters
WAYNE - Half a dozen kids stuck in an elevator at a trampoline park are home safe thanks to volunteer firefighters using a special technique.
The young teenagers, all around 13 years old, were visiting the Rockin' Jump in Willowbrook Plaza, according to Wayne police. The indoor trampoline park is part of a larger retail building with several floors.
Shortly after 5 p.m., police received a call that six children were trapped in an elevator car near the ground floor. Volunteers with Wayne Fire Department Companies 1, 2 and 5 responded to the scene.
Wayne Fire Commissioner Willie Rodriguez told TapIntoWayne that this elevator has gotten stuck before. But in the past, elevator technicians have been able to fix the problem.
“We’ve seen this before,” Rodriguez said. “Kids come out of the trampoline park still worked up, get on the elevator and continue to jump. When you have a big enough group of kids, all doing the same thing, it can cause the elevator to stop moving.”
After trying several different tactics, the firefighters went to their last resort. They needed to rappel down the elevator shaft and rescue the kids one by one.
Using a "high angle rescue" system, Mike Leonard and Anthony Gabriel with the Wayne Fire Department Special Response Team descended down to the elevator car. They rigged each teen to a line and brought them up to the second floor.
After an hour trapped in the metal box, the kids were free. They all went home following a medical evaluation.