Blue Ash Firefighter/Paramedic conducted rescue operations at Adams County building collapse

(December 16, 2020 - Blue Ash)

A Blue Ash Firefighter/Paramedic conducted the operations that rescued a person from the tragic Adams County DP&L building collapse earlier this month.

Tom Grau has been a member of the Hamilton County Urban Search and Rescue Team (USAR) since 1998 and is a Deputy Commissioner. He is also a part-time Firefighter/Paramedic and serves as the training instructor in the Blue Ash Fire Department.

“It was the biggest rescue I’ve ever been involved in,” said Grau, who volunteers with USAR. “It was intense. It took three teams, three hours to complete the rescue in a really, really, tight space. The team did an outstanding job overcoming obstacles.”

An eight-story DP&L building, slated for demolition, collapsed on December 9 in Manchester, Ohio, when workers were attempting to weaken the structure to make it fall safely.

The Hamilton County USAR team with members from 23 area Fire Departments was called in to help facilitate the search for survivors.

According to WCPO, Grau “detailed the life-saving efforts required to rescue one man who had been pinned under fallen steel beams. Local first responders were able to hear the man, still conscious, as he called out for help.

‘When the guys had to go down, they had to go up through, down and around to get to him. He was pinned in a small area,’ Grau said.

Getting to the void where the man was trapped called for an intricate system of search ropes to keep crews safe.

‘When we made tunnels through the debris, they had to take search ropes to mark our spaces,’ Grau said.”

Watch the WCPO interview with Tom Grau above or here: