Pumper saves life

Local pumper comes to the rescue of man trapped in a 50-foot well
Pumper saves life
Local septic pumping company and rescue workers from three counties work to pull a man from a 50-foot well. (Photo courtesy of Steve Nichols)

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When Misty Price, owner of Price’s Septic Tank Service in Danielsville, Ga., got a call requesting a septic truck, she had no idea what was in store.    

“A gentleman I know that lives close by where the accident happened called me in the office and said they needed a truck,” says Price. “He said ‘I have a man in a well and I need it pumped out now.’”

Price immediately called long-time employee Chris Gifford, who was on call that Saturday. The accident happened in Carnesville, Ga., a neighboring town about 25 miles from Price’s shop. A 57-year-old man got stuck in a 50-foot well during a routine cleaning he and his company were performing.

“They were lowering him down on some contraption from 1902 from what it looked like,” Gifford says. “He was just riding the bucket up and down. He got down there and stood in one spot too long and his feet got stuck in the silt. He got deeper and deeper wiggling around. The silt was up to his knees, then the water started getting up high on him.”

Gifford arrived just in time to pump the water out of the well so rescue workers could go down and pull the man out. “I was scared I was going to get him in the face with the hose,” he says. “I got his hat off his head, but I didn’t get him. I don’t think he really cared at the moment. He just wanted the water off him.”

Gifford and Price credit their 2007 International 4400 vacuum truck from Abernethy Welding with a Masport pump for saving the day. “We’ve got three trucks, but that’s the only truck that would have pulled that much,” says Gifford. “They’ve built a wonderful truck. It’s awesome.”

Price could not be more pleased with her employee’s feat. “I felt like Gifford really did save the guy’s life,” she says. “I was proud.”

Gifford says the locals can now view septic pumpers in a more positive light. “They look at us a little different now,” he says. “When everything was said and done, all the firemen came up and shook my hand and congratulated me.”


What are you doing in your community that reflects positively on our industry? Does your team volunteer? Do you donate money or time to local groups? Shoot me an email at kim.peterson@colepublishing.com and I promise to respond.

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