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UPDATED: Accident at Ballston Construction Site

by ARLnow.com August 26, 2011 at 12:26 pm 4,891 26 Comments

(Updated at 1:25 p.m.) Arlington County firefighters and paramedics helped to rescue an injured construction worker from one of the top floors of an unfinished office building in Ballston.

A large piece of glass reportedly fell on a worker on the 9th floor of the construction site at 800 N. Glebe Road around 12:30 p.m. Rescuers were apparently able to get the man down several flights of narrow stairs before loading him on to the basket of a ladder truck five floors below. The ladder was then lowered down to ground level as bystanders watched from across the street.

The man’s injuries were not said to be life-threatening.

  • Aaron

    you are fast, great … soo many sirens, was wondering what was happening

  • Aaron

    and they are heavy on their horns …. they usually don’t drive that fast

  • Anonymouse

    They sent just about every truck and vehicle in the area. This included 3 ambulances, 5+ command SUV’s, 8 or so Fire engines, and the Technical response truck/trailer. Also a bunch of cops.

    For 1 injury? Im thinking there is more to the story then currently posted.

    • CW

      Sounds like it is due to the complex nature of the rescue. The poor sap is stuck on the 9th floor and there’s no way to get him down (the implicit part being “before he bleeds to death”). I hope they can figure it out quickly.

    • tackyendings

      Anonymouse, It’s called protocol. Things need to be done by the books. Always better to be safe than sorry. You never know what you will get when you arrive on scene.- Too many people on scene is better than not enough and units can always go back in service if they are not needed for the current incident.

      A 911 dispatcher has to go with the information that was given by the caller(s).

  • Um.

    Safety first! Seriously.

  • Anonymouse

    They brought em down by bucket ladder on a backboard from the 5th floor to the ground. Not sure how he got from the 9th to the 5th, unless the 9th was false info. Hes since been taken away by ambulance at about 1:00pm but he was making gestures at the FD with his hands and arms which is a good sign.

    And to the above 2 in response to my original post. I understand the reasoning behind it, and you usually do see multiple trucks when only 1 is needed, but that still seemed a bit excessive. Then again.. if its a slow day… its a slow day. And i guess this is Arlington County after all.

    • AllenB

      One more comment from the Know-Nothing brigade.

    • CW

      I hope ACFD/ACPD make a note in their books that, when you have a huge sheet of glass fall on you many stories above the ground, you wish to have the minimum response possible so as to avoid disruption to the community. Duly noted.

  • Idiot

    I am admitting right now I’m an idiot but how does funding for Fire & Rescue work? Does it cost more when 100 trucks are deployed (other than the obvious gas they use) or is it just like any of us in a salaried job that get paid with however little or much work is done?

    • SeanO

      The cost to the taxpayers of Arlington County for the use of the 911 system is paid with their property taxes. There are no point of service charges unless someone is transported to the hospital in an ambulance.
      The response by the FD or the PD is call-type dependent. The information provided by the caller(s) causes the dispatchers & the computer aided dispatch system to send the prescribed units initially. Sometimes, based in extenuating circumstances, other units may be added to assist the originally dispatched units.
      When you see a ‘parade of Fire Trucks’ with their lights & sirens on arrive at a location, it is because something big happened & the FD determined it needed a lot of resources.

    • SeanO

      In this County, FD employees get a regular paycheck every two weeks. In some systems, FD members get paid by the call. Those are usually small towns or places transitioning from a strictly volunteer system to a combination system.

  • Um.

    Who cares. In emergency situations send first and recall later. I’d rather have them there if needed and live than not. Go ahead and ask about cost when the life of a person is on the line. There is no calculation for that and I’m thankful for the county and fire rescue people.

    Only in Arlington…. where we have such “problems” as resources that we get pissy over having them or using them.

  • Idiot

    I didn’t care about the cost [email protected] I just never knew how they were paid. [email protected]

    • Chouse

      Just because you put an @ in the middle of profanities does not cover them up any more or make using them any more appropiate. Thank you.

  • Flying Spaghetti Monster

    My favorite is when a cyclist or pedestrian gets hit and they send the hook & ladder.

    • Sarah

      Sometimes they send whatever truck is available that has life-saving equipment on it and is the closest.

    • CW

      Really dumb comments on this thread.

      Maybe you guys should make like a version of those med-alert bracelets so that people can look at them when you get injured and use them to determine the degree of response desired.

      “Oh my God, he was just run over by a semi! Oh, look honey, he wants to wait for the ambulance specifically, no other response desired. Let dispatch know.”

      • Sarah

        Too bad the firefighters, police, etc. have to help everyone no matter how dumb, unpleasant or critical they may be.

        Wouldn’t it be great if they could say, “You’ve been critical of our practices and response time and equipment choices and for us not sitting in every bank branch in Arlington in plainsclothes….”

        “No soup for you!”

    • John Snyder

      They also send the truck because they may need the firefighters to help with the emergency. They do not travel without their truck, so they are ready to go to the next call, without having to go all the way back to the station, get the ladder truck, and then go to the emergency. Believe it or not, the fire department has thought about this.

  • billj

    I was wondering what all those sirens were for…


    I often wonder if some of these comments are made simply as “bait” to get people stirred up. I certainly hope so since many of the comments, if sincere, are coming from what I would expect to be highly educated Arlingtonians. If this is the case it confirms the need for “Common Sense 101” in all degree programs.

  • on site

    If I get injured on the job like that man did. I want fire trucks, cops, ambulances, helicopters, doctors, nurses, and everything in between to save my life or allow me to walk, talk and everything else. Plus keep all my appendages.

    The man broke his hip and has 4 pins and a screw in his hip now. But at the time of the accident he had blood coming from his face, and the man was more concerned if he was able to move his legs.

    Don’t Monday morning quarterback the response to an accident.

  • tf

    Is that Tower ladder bucket not capable of coming to rest on the ground? Love the photo of all those people lifting the patient off the bucket on their tip toes. Also why are so many firemen peering so closely over the edge of the fifth floor as the bucket takes the patient away? I heard from a bystander that it took forever to get him down.

    We do it better accross the river all day long!!!!!!!

  • on site

    I couldn’t tell you why that ladder didn’t come to the ground. Maybe because other fire equipment was to close. But I agree hole-heartedly that it took way to long to get the man to the ground. Part of that I feel is contributed to the general contractor, Clark Construction Group, for not having an egress plan. Nor did the GC have a visible access point for the rescue workers. However the article is a lil misleading. There was no “narrow” stair. The stairway is a normal stairway you will find in every building in Arlington.


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