LIRR officials offered Elevator Entrapment Rescue Training to members of the Wantagh Fire Department, which was called on several occasions to rescue commuters who became trapped in the newly installed elevator at the Wantagh LIRR Station. Fire department spokesman Kevin Regan said that while firefighters already have general training in responding to elevator emergencies, this specialized training was invaluable because it was on the specific equipment that responders may encounter.
Louis Rodriguez, Field Engineer from the LIRR, presented the training which involved theory and “hands-on” response to several simulated emergencies. And he offered the following advice to pass along to anyone who may become stuck in an inoperable elevator: First, an elevator is not sealed - you will not suffocate should you become trapped; second, the elevator is not going to “free fall” to the ground. The important thing to remember, he said, is to remain calm, call immediately for assistance and assist other passengers who may be experiencing anxiety or other medical emergencies.
Regan, who attended the training, said he also learned that “you should never attempt to self-evacuate from a stuck elevator as there are many high voltage wires and hydraulic hoses that control the operation of the elevator. And, since the elevator car could start moving unexpectedly, it is always best to await the response of the first responders and follow their instructions.”