Indianapolis Firefighters executed an aggressive rescue after a woman drove off the road at 30th and Richardt Ave, hit the edge of a ditch and her car flipped upside down into the water.  Witnesses say the car was headed eastbound on 30th.  The woman – who appears to be in her early 30’s was upside down, still restrained in her seat by her seatbelt.  Her head and body were submerged in the water up to her hips.  Despite bystanders’ efforts to keep her head out of the water, the woman was rendered unconscious, pulseless, and apneic due to the cold-water immersion.

IFD Station 44 is located around the corner from this intersection.  The crew was just returning from another PI at 35th and Richardt and had just passed by this location.  The accident occurred less than 5 minutes later.  Upon arrival, crews entered the freezing water and used the cutter spreader tool to open the jammed driver side door. After securing patient contact, they cut the seatbelt and worked together to bring the woman out of the car…all in less than 9 minutes from arrival.

The patient was rapidly loaded into IEMS Medic 20 and transported to Eskenazi.  IEMS and IFD Medics worked together and were able to regain pulses while en-route.  She remains in extreme critical condition.


IMPD is investigating the accident.  Witnesses say that the car did not hit anything prior to driving off the road, nor did they believe the woman was speeding.  



Working Single Car PI with entrapment
30th and Richardt Ave
Initial caller stated that he witnessed the accident but did not remain on scene and that several bystanders were trying to help
IFD Tactical 44 Dispatched at 7:40 PM
First Unit on scene EG44 at 7:42 PM
This location is around the corner from IFD Station 44
11 IFD Units Dispatched
Engine 44 reports Single Car PI into a ditch with about 3 feet of water
IFD Battalion 4 arrived on scene at 7:47 PM
IFD Tac 7 Dive Team requested at 7:49 PM
IFD Tac 7 Dive Team disregarded at 7:50 PM
B/Female Driver Extricated at 7:51 PM
Driver was Pulseless and Apneic – CPR Established – working cardiac arrest at 7:54 PM
Transported to Eskenazi Hospital by IEMS Medic 20 with IFD Medics assisting with patient and IFD Driver
Pulses returned at 8:02 PM – arrived at Eskenazi 8:15 PM
The patient remains in extreme critical condition.

Submitted by Rita Reith, MPIO