East Brandywine Fire Company
East Brandywine Fire Company

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Search Detail for Possible Downed Paraglider
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By East Brandywine Fire Company
September 21, 2020

On Monday night 9/21/2020 at 7:43pm multiple Fire, Police and EMS units were dispatched to the 200blk of Reeceville Rd for a possible paraglider who came down in the wooded area between Brandywine Hospital and Freedom Village.

The initial report given to first responding units was that a paraglider that appeared to be coming in for a landing was too low and almost struck the chimney of the Huston Building before going into a heavily wooded and swampy area and calls for help were heard. Thorndale Fire Company and Police from the area initially began to check the wooded area and it was quickly determined that extra resources would be needed. East Brandywine and Wagontown Fire Companies along with EMS from Coatesville and Westwood were dispatched to assist.

ATV 49, Utility 49, Engine 49-2, Chief 49, Assistant 49 and Battalion 49 all made the response and initially were sent to the Freedom Village side to begin searching from that side of the wooded area. ATV 49, ATV 35 and ATV 38 along with multiple firefighters from all the agencies on scene spent over an hour in the thick wooded area searching and were unable to find any sign of the paraglider. A helicopter from Philadelphia Police was also on scene assisting with their FLIR (forward looking infrared) and Spotlight. At that time all crews came out of the woods and re-assembled at the Huston Center while the helicopter continued to circle the area.

Once crews re-assembled they were sent back out in teams again to start searching different grids. Boat 35 was also launched to check a pond that was in the woods. Once again crews were unable to locate any sign of the paraglider.

Comm1 from Chester County 911 Center, Chester County High Angle Rescue Team, Chester County Incident Support Team and the Sherriff's K-9 unit were all now also on scene. Command came up with a plan to send a large group back into the woods a few feet apart in a straight line stretching from the south end of the woods to the north and they would search in a western pattern walking towards Reeceville Rd. Once again crews were in the woods for over an hour and were unable to find any signs of the paraglider.

Crews made the tough decision to suspend the search efforts until 9am in the morning due to how thick the woods were and the lack of visibility. Luckily everyone got good news around 5:30am when the paraglider contacted authorities to let them know that he believed he was the one everyone was looking for. Turns out he landed safely in the area and had left the scene prior to anyone being there and did not know about the search efforts until he woke up in the morning.

Approx. 150 volunteers from numerous agencies were on scene throughout the incident and crews worked extremely well together and we had a good outcome.

Hyperlinks: NBC10 Video
 

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