Orland Fire responds to emergency call: Man’s hand caught in meat grinder
The Orland Fire Protection District received an emergency call on Saturday (Nov. 3) involving a worker whose fingers were caught in a food meat grinder. The seriousness of the circumstances were aggravated when firefighters trying to extricate his hand from the machine had accompany the many to the hospital.
Fire Chief Ken Brucki said it was an extremely unusual incident.
“Once on the scene, the firefighters and paramedics were presented with an extremely serious incident which would test their skills and experience,” Brucki said.
“The worker had his arm stuck in a machine that grinds meat. The paramedics quickly began to treat the worker as the firefighters developed a plan to extricate the worker. It became quickly apparent that the extraction would be difficult and time consuming, the rescue team began to dismantle as much of the machine as possible on the scene.”
Brucki said that paramedics recognized that the patient had to be immediately transported to the hospital where the extrication had to be completed in the emergency room.
“It was obvious to the paramedics that the this rescue would require medical staff and an Emergency Room for the best outcome,” Brucki said.
“The decision was made to transport the worker with his arm still in the grinder part of the machine to Silver Cross Hospital where doctors could assist the rescue team in the removal.”
Brucki said it was the patient was taken to Silver Cross Hospital.
“This was a first in the history of the Orland Fire Protection District, we had never gone to a hospital to continue an extraction, Engine 3, Truck 1, Battalion 1 and Ambulance 3 all proceeded to Silver Cross hospital,” Brucki said.
“Once at the hospital firefighters conferred with Emergency room Doctors, it was decided that the extrication could not be done in surgery and that the firefighter would perform the extraction in a sub room of the ER where the firefighter could use a smaller version of the “Jaws of Life” to meticulously cut away the grinder portion of the machine.”
Brucki said it was “like a scene from a movie” with firefighters cutting the machine apart under the direction of the Emergency Room Doctors.
“The extrication lasted about 20 minutes and was successful the ER staff immediately took over care as the firefighters began to put their equipment back in service,” Brucki said. “This is another example of how well trained our Orland Firefighters are to handle unique situations.”