HOLDEN, Mass. — Members of the Holden Fire Department were honored Tuesday night for a series of rescues made over the summer, including the safe removal of a man buried chest-deep inside a cement silo in July.
After a worker at Paquette Concrete on Wachusett Street in Holden slipped while cleaning the inside of a 50-foot cement-mixing silo, firefighters had to be lowered into the structure from above to pull the man from the cement powder.
While Holden Fire Chief Jack Chandler, III said the rescue was "a full department effort and everyone performed admirably," in particular he recognized Lt. Dave Chapin, who oversaw the operation from the top, Firefighter Paramedic Paul Pierce, who was the first to be lowered into the silo and located the victim, and Lt. Barry Tupper, who also entered the silo and was able to harness the victim with rope to extricate him.
Additionally, Chapin, Pierce and firefighter paramedic David Russo responded to an incident at Holden Hills golf course, on June 26, when a 77-year old male suffered an evolving myocardial infarction.
Chandler said that the equipment on the department's new ambulance allowed them to transmit the patient's ECG's to St. Vincent's Hospital so the doctors could see what was going on before he arrived.
"Because of what the doctors saw from the ambulance, he went right up to the heart catheterization lab upon arrival at the hospital," he said, explaining that his transport time was just 31 minutes.
A third incident occurred on June 21 when an 18-year-old was found drowned in the family swimming pool.
According to Chandler, a crew made up of firefighter paramedics Tyke Lothrop and Rick McGinn, Firefighter Mike Pimental and Lt. Russ Hall (who was recently made the department's new assistant fire chief) were able to revive the victim, "so that when he arrived at the hospital he was breathing and his heart was working."
Though Chandler was sad to say the family could not continue to keep him on life support, he said, "I think our job in the field is to get the person to the hospital in the best condition we can. I was there at the scene and I said to myself, if this kid has a chance, this is the crew that can do it."