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Worker Rescue at Bowline Power Plant February 7th, 2024

At around 0518 today, our department got a call to 130 Samsondale Ave. for an extrication of a person in a boiler. While responding the address changed to the Bowline Power Plant which is in Department 26 (Thiells)'s responding area. Thiells FD was dispatched while West Haverstraw FD continued on. We were directed to the rear of the plant on the ground floor. At first size up, the entire hopper unit was 70'-80' tall, 8' wide and 10' long. There is a shaft that leads to the actual hopper which is about 20-25' off the floor. The victim fell from top of the unit into the hopper at the bottom, about a 50'-60' fall. Gaining access to the victim proved to be difficult from the outside, the first method that was devised was to send the Technical Rescue Team (TRT) to drop down from the top of the hopper. Time is of the essence, while waiting for the TRT the crew decided to breach the wall of the unit. The outside of the unit was covered with what seems to be Q decking material. Prior to cutting the unit, we made sure the workers on scene turned everything off. After cutting through the Q decking, it revealed insulation and steel sheathing. A small hole was cut to give visual confirmation of the victim inside the hopper. TRT arrived on scene but it was decided it was not necessary to descend from the top as we were close to accessing the victim. A larger hole was cut and we were able to send a medic in to check on the victim. The medic packaged the victim on a back board and was able to transport him out of the hole in the hopper. The victim then was transported to Westchester Medical Center via helicopter.

The entire operation took about 1.5 hours with help from the workers. Various tools were used such as battery powered rotary saw, grinders from both the plant workers and our own.

At this moment, the victim is in critical but stable condition. We hope he makes a speedy recovery.

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