Urban growth sparked increase of 2016 elevator rescues

Twelve people were rescued last year in a notable elevator rescue on Facebook’s Menlo Park campus as rescues climbed in the U.S. because of urban growth, the city’s fire chief said.

Chief Harold Schapelhouman described two notable rescues of 2016, one of which occurred May 20 at Facebook’s west campus in Menlo Park.

Twelve people were trapped for about two hours in Building 20. A repair technician tried for 90 minutes to get the elevator doors open.

But it took firefighters using the Jaws of Life for 20 minutes to pry open the doors.

Menlo Park paid for the Jaws of Life with fees paid by Facebook when they developed their campus, Schapelhouman said.

Another notable elevator rescue occurred on July 30 in Colorado Springs, Colorado, when President-elect Donald Trump and nine staff members were stuck in an elevator in The Mining Exchange hotel. Firefighters lowered a ladder from the floor above to allow the staff members and Trump to climb out.

Schapelhouman said people get stuck in elevators for a variety of reasons such as mechanical failures, power outages and fires.