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Amputation and High-Angle Rescue Saves Spokane Worker in Auger

Spokane Fire Department Press Release courtesy of KHQ.com

On October 4th, 2013 at 6:44 A.M. the Spokane Fire Department responded to a report of a worker from the Purina Mills Plant at 4714 E. Trent stuck in some machinery. Engine 8 from their station located at 1608 N. Rebecca was first on the scene and rapidly assessed the situation. They found an adult male patient that was pinned by one of the plant augers on the top of the roof, six stories high.

The patient had a serious leg injury so the crew placed a tourniquet to stop further hemorrhaging and continued with their life saving stabilization of the patient. Plans were immediately made to provide advanced life support care to the patient, the extrication of the patient from the machinery, the proper packaging of the patient and finally, the transport of the patient which included lowering the patient to the ground.

As the various plans were being put into place, a special request was made for a surgeon to respond to the scene. As a result of this request, three surgeons from Deaconess Hospital arrived on the scene and were involved with the extrication of the patient and patient care. They were supported by a nurse from Medstar and Fire Department paramedics. At this same time, blood from Valley Hospital was being rushed to the scene by a deputy from the Spokane County Sheriff's Office. While the machinery was confirmed to be locked out and isolated, extrication crews consisting of Rescue 9 and Ladder 1 continued to aggressively work providing patient care to stabilize the patient while the machinery was being dismantled to free him.

A contractor's crane was used to lift a basket to the level where the patient was. This same crane was responsible for lowering the patient to the ground. The Fire Department Technical Rescue Team from Station 4 worked hand in hand with the crane operator and made sure of the patient's safety and transport back to the ground. The patient was flown to Sacred Heart Hospital by Medstar.

The cause of this incident is being investigated by the State of Washington Labor and Industries.



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