Pre-Planning Elevator Rescues, Part 1/2

Elevators are incredibly complex machinery systems, and they are also one of the more common causes of machinery rescue incidents in urban and suburban areas.  One strategy for improving your agency’s response to elevator rescue incidents is to get out and start pre-planning the elevators in your community.  In our next two posts, we will talk about some of the different sections you may want to include in your elevator rescue pre-plan.

Elevator Maintenance Company

This is one of the most important pieces of information to pre-plan.  Ideally, removal of occupants from a stalled elevator should be performed by the elevator maintenance company.  Even when an emergency situation exists and first responders must perform the rescue, it is still important to ensure the elevator company has been called.  At the very least, the elevator company will need to make any necessary repairs and place the elevator back in service.

Location of the Elevator(s)

Facilities may have multiple elevators located in different parts of the building.  These different elevators may each serve different floors and/or may even be different types of elevators.  If a 911 caller says that they are experiencing a heart attack in elevator three, do you know where elevator three is in that building?


The pictures above show elevators 1 – 3 in an office building.  The elevators, mainline disconnects, and car light switches are all labeled accordingly.  However, it is also important to realize that this building has three additional elevators labeled 4 – 6.  Those elevators are on the other end of the building and have their own elevator machine room.  Pre-planning the locations of these elevators can help save time when someone is trapped in the elevator and experiencing a medical emergency.

Next week we will discuss some additional pieces of information that should be included in an elevator rescue pre-plan.

We include a section discussing elevator types and hazards in our Machinery Rescue Awareness (3 hours) class.  For more in-depth information related to elevator emergencies, check out Dragon Rescue Management, Inc.

Bill Elder
Owner / Lead Instructor
Elder Technical Rescue Services, LLC

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