Binswanger Tech Becomes National Hero; Rescues
Six from Burning Building in Austin, Texas
February 22, 2010
|DeHaven has been with Binswanger for two years.
Prior to joining the company, he served in the U.S. Army for
more than six years and was deployed to Iraq twice.
When Robin DeHaven began his day at Binswanger Glass in Austin,
Texas, last Thursday, he probably expected to have an ordinary day.
But such was not the case. As the 28-year-old glazier was driving
to an afternoon job, he observed a plane crashing off the highway
and immediately went to help.
It seemed out of the ordinary, DeHaven, a native of
Logansport, Ind., told glassBYTEs.com/AGRR magazine
during an exclusive interview late last Friday. I was on my
way to a job to replace a single-pane window. The plane went south
and it was going down and I didnt know what was going to happen.
A big cloud of smoke came down.
Thats when the U.S. Army veterans instincts kicked
in and he decided to try to help.
I exited right away and flew into a parking lot, he
recalls. I tried to call 911, too, but of course they were
busy with all the calls.
Though he finally got through to 911, he continued to head into
the direction of the building where the plane had hit. (It has since
been revealed that a local man had crashed the plane into the Internal
Revenue Services building to which DeHaven headed to help out.)
As DeHaven pulled into the parking lot, another bystander noticed
he had a large ladder on the truck and asked if he would help out.
Without hesitation, DeHaven says he propped the ladder against the
building, trying to ensure that it was stable, and began his climb
up to the second story where five people were waiting.
We tried to put it near a brace
I got to the top and
the ladder slipped a little bit and started dropping a few inches,
he says. I grabbed the ledge and eventually got into the building
through the window.
Knowing the ledge hed used wouldnt work for the climb
down, DeHaven quickly looked for another option and saw that there
was what appeared to be a sturdier ledge at the next window over.
There was a window still intact over it, so we had to break
out that window, he says.
Once DeHaven attached the ladder to the second window, he began
to attempt the rescue mission, escorting each employee out the window,
onto the ledge and then onto the ladder. He rescued six people in
By that time, the local fire department had arrived on the scene,
so DeHaven gathered his ladder (after getting the okay from the
fire department) and thought hed sneak away to have a quiet
lunch break, catch his breath, and then continue on to his next
I took my ladder, called my boss and told him I helped some
people when a plane crashed, DeHaven says. I thought
I was just going to get my ladder and go. I didnt say my name
[to anyone there], but I guess someone called the corporate office
and corporate found out and called me.
Though he remembers the details clearly, DeHaven says the rescue
took approximately five minutes in total; the fire hadnt yet
entered the office in which he assisted, but the hallways had already
begun to fill with smoke at the point he arrived.
DeHaven attributes his ability and quick-to-assist nature to his
time in the U.S. Army. During his six and a half years in the military,
he was deployed to Iraq twice.
I was a combat engineer and Ive been in combat situations,
Since then, DeHaven has been interviewed by Fox News, ABC, NBC
and even appeared on Good Morning America on Friday morning.
Despite his newfound fame, DeHaven remains humble.
I didnt figure anyone would find me, but they did,
and now Im just trying to fill the shoes people want me to,
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