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Firefighters receive accolades for resuscitating electrocuted worker

By Marti Gatlin | | June 2, 2011

For resuscitating an electrocuted contract worker, several Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany Fire and Emergency Services Department firefighters received coins from the base’s commanding officer.

Col. Terry V. Williams thanked the men during a brief ceremony in Building 3500, recently, for their lifesaving efforts on March 12 around 3 p.m. at the Maintenance Center Albany compound.

According to Assistant Chief Steven Walterman, the crews responded to a call where a man had been electrocuted and was not breathing.

A crane lifting a pipe had come in contact with a high voltage line, electrocuting a worker.

“I know you all do it every day and sometimes you never get recognized, but this one in particular was just one of those times where we really had to say thank you very much for a job well done,” Williams said, noting the men are unsung heroes. “(We) appreciate the great work.”

Fire and Emergency Services Department personnel found two co-workers performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation on the victim in a roughly 12-foot deep and 10-foot wide trench.

Once the injured worker was removed from the trench, he was defibrillated twice and got a heart rate. Additional advanced life support was initiated and upon arrival at a local hospital, the patient had a pulse and was breathing on his own.

He was subsequently transferred to a trauma/burn center and was discharged neurologically intact one week after being clinically dead, according to Walterman.

Roger Hall, emergency medical technician-paramedic, noted everyone who responded to that call that day had an important role in the man’s resuscitation.

“It’s all the little things that add up to the big picture,” he said. Don’t ever discount the idea that the good Lord has other plans for that man. It does your heart good to do your job and see the extreme benefits because most of the time when people are in that situation you don’t get them back.”

Neil Robinson, EMT-basic, believed it was the first time he helped an electrocuted patient.

“It does feel good to know I made a difference in saving this guy,” he said. “It really hit home because my brother is a lineman for a power company back home in Newnan, Georgia. After the fact I could envision that was him. He’s very careful and very meticulous about his training and safety.”

EMT-Basic Charles Thurmond said everyone worked their roles in “trying to get the young man revived. It’s good to know he survived that.”

Lt. Daniel Tompkins, EMT-basic, said all of the Fire and Emergency Services Department’s three paramedics were on duty that day and responded to the call.

“It was nice to have that level of EMS training on the scene,” he said. “It’s a good feeling anytime you can give somebody more time. We did our job and it wasn’t time for him to go.”

EMT-Paramedic Matthew Webb praised the individual’s “co-workers (who) did the right thing. One of them called 911 and the other one started chest compressions. He’s alive because his co-workers did CPR the way they had been taught.”

He emphasized that anyone needing assistance on MCLB Albany should call 639-5911.

“If they call 911 it could add two minutes to their wait,” Webb said.

He also reminded people that if they don’t know what they are doing with electricity they shouldn’t play with it.