Lodi fire­fight­ers res­cue man from garbage truck

Lodi News-Sentinel - - PAGE TWO - By John Bays NEWS-SEN­TINEL STAFF WRITER

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.

COUR­TESY PHO­TO­GRAPH

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.

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