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Firefighter rappels into 30-foot sinkhole to rescue person who fell in

Leadville Fire KCNC

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    LEADVILLE, Colorado (KCNC) — An extensive rescue mission was launched in Leadville late Saturday to get someone out of a 30-foot deep sinkhole. Just after 6 p.m. Leadville/Lake County Fire Rescue responded to a storage facility at the intersection of 2nd Street and Plum Street where the hole had opened up and a person had fallen in.

Firefighter Alex Conlin jumped into action, rappeling down from a ladder that was placed over the top of the hole to the individual. Leadville/Lake County Fire Rescue wrote that “the bottom of this pit had substantial ice and water creating a very cold situation as well as unstable edges and sides of the pit.”

Conlin used safety gear to secure the person to a line attached to a fire truck and worked to make sure neither of them sunk further into the hole. The person who fell had been badly injured.

Search and rescue arrived and helped pull Conlin and that person out a little over 90 minutes later. Both were treated for hypothermia and the patient was airlifted to a Denver metro area hospital.

n a news release, Conlin’s response when asked about his actions was “Risk a lot to save a lot, risk a little to save a little, risk nothing to save nothing.”

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