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Firefighter Gets Lowered Into Well to Rescue Fallen 6 Year-Old Boy

Boston Globe via YellowBrix

September 07, 2010

SHREWSBURY, MA – A 6-year-old Shrewsbury boy escaped with only cuts and scrapes over the weekend after he fell 20 feet into an abandoned well behind his house, firefighters said.

The boy, who had just moved with his family to a house on Barrows Road a few days earlier, found the well Saturday afternoon while exploring his new home with friends, Shrewsbury Fire Captain William Cummins said.

When he threw a rock into the well to see how deep it was, the edge gave way, sending the boy tumbling to the bottom.

When emergency personnel arrived, a firefighter was lowered into the well to check on the boy, Cummins said. The firefighter then put the boy in a harness and rescuers at the top pulled him out, about 45 minutes after he had fallen.

The boy had only minor cuts, narrowly missing falling on a metal spike at the bottom of the well, Cummins said. Paramedics treated him on the scene, and he was taken to UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester as a precaution, Cummins said.

“It’s amazing he didn’t get hurt,’’ Cummins said. “Just a couple of scrapes, and he was kind of muddy because it was damp.’’

The 18th-century well, which sits within a wooded area, had been sealed at one point with concrete, but it was crumbling away from weather and age, he said.

The boy was calm throughout the ordeal, Cummins said. The boy’s father leaned over and talked to him while they waited for help to arrive, he said.

Well rescues are not a common occurrence for Shrewsbury, Cummins said.

“I’d venture to say nobody even knew the well was there,’’ Cummins said.