Rescuers describe decision to amputate trapped workers arm - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

Rescuers describe decision to amputate trapped workers arm

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PHOENIX (KSAZ) -

A follow up to a story we first told you about Monday, a worker has to have his arm amputated after it gets caught in a piece of machinery it happened at a Phoenix sand, rock and gravel business.

Sunland Materials Operations shut down Tuesday as investigators from OSHA and the state Mine Inspector's Office look at the conveyor belt where a worker nearly lost his life Monday morning.

"He absolutely would have died because of the injury to his blood vessels his major artery" said Dr. Gallagher.

Dr. Gallagher with Phoenix Fire responded to the call as did the department's rapid response team truck. A special truck with a several tools for extrication. A 44 year old worker at Sunland was working on a conveyor belt when his arm was pulled into the pulley on the belt.

"His arm was stuck up to his shoulder in this machine, but he was still conscious and awake" said Dr. Gallagher.

Firefighters worked quickly with tools like the jaws of life to disassemble the machine and get to the man's arm. They treated him with morphine for the pain.

Firefighter Jason Newman was surprised at how the victim responded to rescuers. "He remained calm, he answered all of our questions, he never really freaked out or anything it was amazing".

Emergency crews used a variety of tools to disassemble the machine the decision to amputate the arm at the shoulder right there was made when firefighters were able to disassemble the machine enough using special equipment and get a closer look.

Dr. Gallagher says the conveyor machine had amputated the arm almost completely. He advised Firefighter Newman to complete the amputation with a scalpel, which he did. "Yes it was intense, but they were focused... Task oriented, you focus on what you need to do and then worry about it later" he says.  

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