A woman in Washington state fell headfirst into an outhouse toilet as she tried to reach her phone and was rescued by firefighters last week.
The woman was reportedly on her phone in the outhouse while hiking in the Olympic National Forest in northwest Washington when she accidentally dropped it into the toilet she was using. After attempting to retrieve the phone using a dog leash, she fell into the toilet and was stuck for nearly 15 minutes before she called 911.
“I imagine that she was probably very fortunate,” Brinnon Fire Department Chief Tim Manly said, according to the Kitsap Sun. “I don’t have any experience with that kind of a rescue, except for now, but I know that is not a good place to be.”
The woman told firefighters she dropped her phone into the toilet while taking a bathroom break during her hike on Mt. Walker. After losing her phone, the woman disassembled the toilet seat and tried to retrieve the phone using a dog leash, but she couldn’t get it. She then tied the leash to herself and went in headfirst to reach for her device. The attempts ”didn’t work very well and in she went,” Manly said.
The woman had traveled from California to visit the national park and was alone with her dog, so she had no one to call for help waiting outside the outhouse. She reportedly spent 10-15 minutes trying to get herself out of the toilet, but failed. Since she was in the toilet with her phone, she dialed 911, and the Brinnon Fire Department came to her rescue.
“The crews made a makeshift cribbing platform by passing them down to the patient,” the Brinnon Fire Department wrote in a Facebook post. “After making it tall enough for her to stand on, the crew pulled the victim to safety.”
After firefighters pulled the woman out of the toilet, she was washed down and given a Tyvek suit. Officials also encouraged her to seek medical attention after being exposed to human waste for so long, but she declined, according to the fire department. “The Brinnon department reported that the woman said she was uninjured and requested no medical transport,” The Kitsap Sun reported.
“The patient was extremely fortunate not to be overcome by toxic gases or sustain injury,” the fire department said in their statement. She thanked the firefighters for rescuing her before leaving the park to drive back to California.
Chief Manly told reporters he had never seen anything like it in his decades-long career. “I’ve been doing this for 40 years, and that was a first,” he said.