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JUST over two weeks after they successfully rescued 66-year-old George Smart from a 55-foot pit on Jones Avenue in St Catherine, where he had been dumped by thugs, firefighters at the Spanish Town fire station are continuing to reflect with pride on a job well done.
“We were satisfied with ourselves. Looking at the resources we had at the time, we are well satisfied,” said Sergeant Kareem Hamilton, a female member of the team which carried out the rescue.
“I am used to this. I went on retrieval at the JPS (Jamaica Public Service Company) plant in Old Harbour so this was not really strange,” said Hamilton in reference to a September 2005 incident which left three men dead and their bodies in a hole at the power plant.
“But this time we were trying to retrieve a live person and the hole was so deep, very deep and very dark,” added Hamilton.
The drama started for the team shortly after 7:00 am on Saturday, May 2, when the fire station was called by police control and told of a a man trapped in a pit.
A seven-member team was dispatched to the Jones Avenue location and after a quick assessment, started devising a plan to rescue the trapped taxi driver.
“The nature of our job didn’t change when we found out that it was not a fire or a traffic crash. The nature of our job is to secure life and property so although it was not a fire or anything of that nature we still had to carry out our duty,” firefighter Dwayne Rankin told the Jamaica Observer.
Following an assessment it was decided that Dennis “Babyface” Taylor would be the one to go into the pit to carry out the rescue.
“It was a collective decision for me to be the one to enter the pit based on my size, fitness, and experience,” said Taylor who has been a firefighter for the past nine years.
“Naturally you are going to have a bit of fear but once I learnt that the gentleman was down there for so long [four nights], then it was easy for me to decide that if he can survive down there then I should be able to help him out,” added Taylor.