Rescues from elevators on the rise for a day

October 16, 1992|By Amy L. Miller | Amy L. Miller,Staff Writer

Elevator rescues happen maybe five times a year in Westminster.

But the Westminster Volunteer Fire Company had a one-day record of two calls yesterday to get people out of elevators that were stuck between floors.

"Elevator rescues are not a real big thing for us," said Chief Jay Nusbaum. "They are usually because there would be a malfunction in the car or a power outage."

Yesterday's first incident occurred at 8:02 a.m. during a power outage at the Westminster Professional Center on Route 140. A man was stuck between floors.

"We just had to open the doors on the third floor to talk to him," Chief Nusbaum said. "We then just opened the doors on the first floor and manually lowered it after releasing the hydraulic pressure."

The second rescue was easier. The elevator at Carroll Plaza on Route 140 malfunctioned, trapping someone just three feet above the first floor.

"We just had to open the door to assist the person out," Chief Nusbaum said.

Elevators run on a higher surge of power with a three-phase electrical system, Chief Nusbaum said. If one phase goes out, the elevator stops.

"We've had a few at the county office building when there's a slight malfunction," he said. "It's just a matter of people being caught between floors and us manually lowering them down."

The last elevator rescue was about three months ago at the Westminster Church of the Brethren.

In both cases, no one was injured. "I believe they might have been getting a little claustrophobic from being inside that car for a while," the chief said with a laugh.

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