Woman rescued after falling into hole

A woman was taken by helicopter to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City Thursday afternoon after falling into a hole near the sewer treatment plant on Marigold Boulevard southeast of Fairfield.

The woman, whose name has not been released, fell into a hole at 12:50 p.m., and was removed a little more than 40 minutes later by Fairfield Fire and Rescue along with help from several other agencies such as Midwest Ambulance, Fairfield Police Department, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Jefferson County Emergency Management, Fairfield Waste Water Department and PKG Contracting.

Fairfield Fire Chief Scott Vaughan estimated the hole the woman fell into was 10-12 feet deep. She was not submerged in water or anything of that sort, he said.

“She was alert and talked to us the whole time,” Vaughan said.

The woman was an employee of PKG Contracting, which the city of Fairfield hired to improve the sewer treatment plant. The hole she fell into was made during the construction process.

Responding emergency personnel told the woman not to move so as not to aggravate any potential injuries to her back or neck. First responders arrived at 12:57 p.m., and by 1:37 p.m. after she had received medical attention, the woman was being lifted out of the hole on a device known as a “stokes basket,” similar to a backboard except deeper and with rails on the side.

The woman was taken by ambulance to the Jefferson County Health Center, where she was then flown to Iowa City.

Vaughan said he didn’t know the woman’s exact injuries, but knew she was in pain. He said he was glad so many different local entities worked well together to achieve a positive outcome.