Tony Tricarico: Elevator Emergencies

After another emotional Thursday morning ceremony came to a close, FDIC 2014 classroom sessions continued with a highly informative and interactive presentation from Fire Department of New York Captain (Ret.) Tony Tricarico on a rather unique subject that is not usually considered a firefighter response issue.


For “Elevator Emergencies,” Tricarico examined a series elevator types and their histories and the basics of elevator emergencies as well as scenarios firefighters may face regarding these unusual, demanding responses.


He also discussed proper terminology, elevator mechanics, shaft parts, construction, site safety hazards, and steel and wire supports, the basics of construction hoists and lock-out and tag-out
procedures among other issues.


Here, Tricarico offers this real-life case of a rescue involving a deceased elevator mechanic trapped between the elevator car and the floor.



He also compared the two basic types of elevators – wire hoist and pneumatic – from the perspectives of differences and similarities, the interlock devices, hoistway door operations, gaining entry
without damaging the elevators, and built-in internal and external safeties. Tricarico also explained how to  “capture” an elevator, the safest way to work inside a shaft, how to locate an elevator, and how to use elevator recall.



“I hope students learned the basic working knowledge of how an elevator works and the issues involved in the removal of occupants from a disabled car,” Tricarico said. “They should also be more aware of the complicated tactics required when a rescue is required in the shaft or the pit or when an elevator car is found to be in a blind shaft.”