Trumbull responders rescue man impaled on ladder (UPDATE)
This is an updated version of the story that was originally posted at 9:31 a.m Wednesday, July 22.
12:34 p.m. — A tree-trimming job on Fresh Meadow Drive turned hazardous Tuesday night when a man was impaled on a ladder and trapped between two heavy tree limbs.
Deputy Chief Alex Rauso of Long Hill Fire Department said the victim was stuck about 10 to 12 feet in the tree with the ladder impaled in his left leg when first responders arrived on the scene around 6:30 p.m.
“He was wedged between two large limbs with a ladder impaled into his leg,” Russo said.
Rauso, citing sources in the emergency medical services, said that the man had a successful surgery Tuesday night and there was no amputation needed.
“I’m being told he’s expected to make a safe recovery,” Rauso said Wednesday morning. “We were told this morning that the surgery was sucessful, which means it must have missed any major arteries.”
A source from Bridgeport Hospital, where the man was transported by a Trumbull ambulance, confirmed that the patient was in stable condition and that no amputation was needed on the left leg.
“The patient is in stable condition,” said John Cappiello, the media relations coordinator of Bridgeport Hospital.
Rauso added that the man, who he said doesn’t live in Trumbull and doesn’t speak English, was alive and breathing during the extrication process.
“He was responsive the whole time,” Rauso said.
The deputy chief added that the man, whose age and identity have not been released, was working on the home with one other worker who heard him scream when the branch fell.
“He was alone working in the tree, which was massive in size,” Rauso said. “There was a worker on the other side of the home that was doing some other work on the ground that heard him yell, and that man called 911.”
Both Rauso and EMS chief Joe Laucella spoke to The Times Wednesday about the intense extrication process that lasted more than an hour and a half.
“It was a very difficult and challenging extrication — it was extremely dangerous because we didn’t want to worsen the situation by moving the tree,” Rauso said. “It was a very detailed, very time-consuming process that was well thought out and needed the participation of all three fire districts and Trumbull EMS.”
Those weren’t the only crews on the scene, though.
Rauso and Laucella said trauma surgeons from Yale-New Haven Hospital and Bridgeport Hospital were called to the scene, as well as three local tree companies.
The fire department used a combination of rescue jacks, pullies, and cables to move the branch just enough to get the man out.
“We were moving it very slightly, with very small movements, before we were able to pull him away from the wedged position and bring him down,” Rauso said.
He said that the tree companies help cut off some of the heavy branch, which was estimated to weigh 2,000 pounds.
“The tree guys came with buckets and various equipment to help us — their expertise was incredibly helpful,” he said. “They trimmed some of the excess part of the tree but they really didn’t do too much cutting because that could have made it more dangerous.
“We wanted it to be the safest extrication possible,” he added.
Laucella said Trumbull received the call at 6:30 p.m. and that the extrication was completed at 8:04 p.m.
As did Rauso, he stressed how dangerous the process was up in the tree.
“What happens if we move the limb the wrong way or what happens when it comes off him? Those are factors the responders working on the patient and the tree had to consider — it was very detailed and very well coordinated by all the people on the scene,” he said. “The patient could have gone into shock or been caused more injury if the branch was moved the wrong way.”
Rauso and Laucella were both grateful to the trauma surgeons who responded in the field.
“Bridgeport Hospital sent two trauma people and we’re very grateful and thankful to their staff,” Laucella said. “They were very active on the scene and they made sure all the resources were available when the patient got to the hospital.”
Laucella noted that Trumbull EMS had two ambulances on the scene — one for the victim and one for any possible injuries that the first responders might have suffered.
“It was extremely hazardous conditions and we wanted to make sure we were covered in case one of the responders on the scene got hurt,” he said. “It was a very dangerous scene.”
9:31 a.m., Wednesday — A tree trimming job on Fresh Meadow Drive turned almost fatal Tuesday night when a man was impaled on a ladder, Deputy Chief Alex Rauso of the Long Hill Fire Department confirmed Wednesday morning.
The man's identity has still not been released and his condition is unknown, but according to initial reports his leg was impaled on the ladder and was trapped between two tree limbs.
Rauso told the Times that more information would be made available later in the day.
According to reports, local tree companies and trauma surgeons responded to help rescue the worker who was stuck in the tree.
Rauso told reporters on the scene that crews worked for an hour and 40 minutes to free the man.