ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — On Wednesday, Illinois Sen. Chapin Rose was trapped in an elevator at the state capitol when it plummeted 40 feet from the fourth floor to the second.
He was uninjured, but that led us to wonder: how often are first responders called out to rescue someone from a stuck elevator?
According to Rockford Fire Department Division Chief of Training Luis Duran, “It happens more often than people think.”
In 2022, the fire department was called out to assist in 55 incidents of stuck elevators in Rockford. There have been 25 so far this year, with one as recently as this morning.
The fire department said mechanical or electrical issues are most often to blame for a stuck elevator, but Duran also warned against overcrowding an elevator beyond its maximum capacity weight, which can also lead to system failures.
In every incident, the fire department responds along with representatives from a company that services elevators, although firefighters are in possession of a special key that allows them to open the doors.
In the event of finding yourself stuck in an elevator, Duran advises pressing the alarm button or using the phone inside the elevator to call for help.
“What we don’t want to see is anybody trying to force open the doors, because we don’t know where that elevator is stuck. If it’s stuck between floors we want to make sure nobody gets injured. If that door were to happen to open momentarily and close back up, we don’t want to see anybody’s hands get stuck on there,” he said.
Duran said people aren’t often injured by the elevator itself, but said the department has responded to some situations where someone was experiencing a medical event inside the stuck elevator.