SI Advance – October 03, 2014
by Maura Grunlund
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Firefighters rescued a 3-year-old boy who was suspended on a narrow ledge two stories high in an elevator shaft in Stapleton.
Members of Engine 153/Ladder 77 in Stapleton used what is commonly called a bunny tool — a hydraulic forcible entry tool — to pry open the door and free the boy within minutes from where he was balancing precariously on a ledge about two inches wide on the second floor of the two-story building at 15 Hudson St.
Amazingly, the toddler suffered only minor injuries, including a few scratches on his ankles, during his ordeal.
The FDNY did not release the identity of the boy.
It wasn’t immediately clear how the boy got into the elevator shaft.
The rescue operation began with a report at 8:03 p.m. Wednesday that somebody was stuck in an elevator shaft in the building.
The first units arrived on the scene three minutes later and immediately shut off electrical power to the elevator.
Capt. Robert Schafer from Engine 153 forced the exterior door to the elevator open on the first floor and shined a flashlight up to see the boy balancing on the ledge.
The boy was crying, but appeared to have only minor injuries.
Schafer reassured the youngster that he was safe as members of Ladder 77 rushed up to the second floor.
Firefighters had to carefully pry open the second floor exterior elevator door with the hydraulic tool to avoid injuring the child or causing him to lose his balance and potentially fall down the shaft.
Once the door was opened several inches, firefighter Peter Fallucca of Ladder 77, a 15-year-member of the FDNY, grabbed the child and pulled him safely into the hallway.
The child was screaming for his mother, who ran to him.
The entire rescue was completed by about 8:10 p.m.
The boy and his mother were transported to a hospital by EMS.