Lifestyle & Human Interest

Firefighters Make Heroic Rescue After Kids Get Trapped in 16-Inch Storm Drain


With the technological takeover that has happened in many young people’s lives, it has become rarer to see kids outside exploring and doing “normal” kid things.

Many school-age children are indoors watching television, scrolling through social media or playing video games — which all have their place — but not as many are running around outside, terrorizing neighborhoods on bicycles or getting stuck in pipes and needing professional help to get unstuck.

That last activity is what happened to two adolescents this week who, for some unknown reason, decided to personally check out the inside of a 16-inch storm water pipe in Leesburg, Virginia.

The Loudoun County Fire and Rescue shared the story on Facebook.

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“At approximately 2:30 p.m., on Tuesday, November 9, 2021, the Loudoun County Emergency Communications Center (ECC) received a call from the 42000 block of Victory Lane reporting a child stuck in a storm water pipe,” the post read.

“LCFR units from Leesburg and command staff were dispatched to the incident. The first arriving personnel found two adolescents trapped in a 16-inch storm water pipe.

“Although the trapped patients were located out of sight of first responders, it was quickly determined both were conscious and alert but unable to escape from the pipe.

“Specialized resources to support confined space rescue operations were requested, bringing additional units from Kincora, Fairfax County, as well as LCFR’s Hazardous Materials Response team from Dulles South.”

While first responders attempted to coach the kids — whose ages were not shared — to escape the pipes under their own power, they were unable to get out.

After that, the trapped adolescents stopped communicating with the rescue team, so the firefighters made the decision to send one of their own in after them.

“After losing verbal contact with the trapped adolescents, LCFR personnel initiated a rapid confined space rescue by deploying a single rescuer with back-up rescuers in place to make contact with the two patients and physically remove them,” the post continued.

“The two patients were removed at 3:20 p.m. and 3:25 p.m. Following their rescue each were evaluated by advance life support providers on scene and then transported to a local emergency department for further evaluation.”

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While there’s no update on the kids’ conditions, at least they’re no longer in the pipe.

“Whoaah,” one person commented on the fire and rescue’s post. “I got claustrophobic just reading this. Way to go LCCFR …. special kudos to the single rescuer.”

“Great job!” another wrote. “There was a scene like this in ER (just rewatched) so I’m just saying this is Hollywood stuff!”

We may never know what prompted those kids to explore the storm pipe, but the fire and rescue’s post is certainly a sign that the often ill-advised, outdoorsy adolescent spirit of adventure is still alive and well.

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