Lodi firefighters rescue man from garbage truck
Sometime between 1:30 and 1:45 p.m. Thursday, Lodi firefighters arrived at the 300 block of North Ham Lane where a Waste Management driver had found a male transient inside of a dumpster.
They made the discovery when he fell out of the dumpster and into the truck.
“I don’t know if he was sleeping in there or what, but he was in the dumpster when Waste Management started dumping and he went for a little ride,” Lodi Fire Battalion Chief Tim Ortegel said on Thursday. “(Police) had already been out there twice today telling him he had to get out of there, but obviously he didn’t.”
Video footage from the truck’s camera showed the driver pointing to the transient, who Ortegel said was rescued without injury.
“He was super lucky because a lot of those trucks have automatic compactors that start compacting as soon as they dump the trash in,” Ortegel said. “This truck didn’t, so he was lucky.”
Waste Management spokesman Paul Rosynsky said that although people are sometimes found inside of dumpsters, the company takes precautions to ensure that it happens as infrequently as possible.
“All our customers are asked to make sure the lids can close on our bins,” Rosynsky said. “The bins have lids on them to make it more difficult for people to get in, and customers can purchase locks for the bars.”
All Waste Management drivers are trained to check the areas around dumpsters for signs that someone may be inside before dumping garbage, Rosynsky said.
The trucks are also equipped with cameras which Rosynsky said allow drivers to see if someone is in a dumpster once they start dumping.
“That way, they can stop all operations so they can make sure the person is OK in the unfortunate event that someone is in the bin,” Rosynsky said.
A man who was sleeping in a dumpster was accidentally dumped into a Waste Management truck on Thursday afternoon and Lodi firefighters helped retrieve him from the truck.