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Firefighter John Kelly & town worker die in Tarrytown, New York manhole. Occurred behind firehouse.

Click above to see Tarrytown-Sleepy Hallow Patch video from the scene and hear statements from town officials

Click here for pictures from the scene

Tarrytown Fire Department

Shortly after 6:30 this evening Firefighter John Kelly went into a manhole behind the Consolidated Engine Company in Tarrytown, New York where a worker collapsed after being overcome by fumes. Town officials say that Firefighter Kelly and Tarrytown employee Anthony Ruggiero did not come out of the hole alive. Ruggiero had been investigating a sewage backup.

Excerpts from an article by reporter Sean Roach at the Tarrytown-Sleepy Hallow Patch:

“The police department received a call that a man had fallen down a manhole,” Blau said. “Police responded and found two men in the manhole.”

Kelly had been quick to respond to the scene and had attempted to rescue Ruggiero, Blau said. He too was overcome and lost consciousness. Both men had gone down the manhole without oxygen tanks.

Police called for a hazardous materials unit and an advanced rescue team from Greenburgh to help rescue the men.

While the teams were one their way, Tarrytown Fire Department Second Assistant Chief Gene Gasparre put on an oxygen tank and carried supplemental oxygen for both men and descended into the manhole aided by Felix Sartario.

“They did what they could under horrible circumstances to get these guys out and give them a chance,” Fixell said. “Even though it didn’t work out in the end, it was truly heroic selfless actions by our fire department, our police department and our volunteer ambulance corps.”

The video below has details of the attempted rescue of the two men.

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Comments - Add Yours

  • ltfd seattle

    Approach in SCBA, with a 4 gas air monitor (LEL,CO,O2,H2S). Identify the hazard without getting hurt. Initiate ventilation and try to drop the air sock right by the patient’s face. Get a rescuer in the space (in SCBA), on a tag line. Drop a rope, throw some handcuff knots on the victim, and have four guys lift the patient 15′ to the outside/fresh air/safe zone.

    When you only have a 15′ lift, and the person is in cardiac or respiratory arrest, use the handcuff knot and forgo the tripod or other mechanical system.

  • http://www.report-on-conditions.blogspot.com Joseph Schmoe

    How many times do we have to read this effing headline!

  • P. Channell

    As much as we, firefighters want to jump in and help those in need, it is imperative that we follow the procedures regarding enter ing a confined space. There are so many unknown factors that must be considered and negated before entering a confined space. Ignoring these unknowns results in tragedies such as the one that happened in Tarrytown. my sympathies to the fallen firefighter’s family and the public works employee.

  • Hoot

    When will we learn………….

  • Rake

    Anytime a firefighter dies, it’s critical that ALL firefighters take the time to learn the circumstances of that death so that the death will serve as a learning tool to others – and that NO ONE ELSE will die making the same mistake. Unfortunately, these firefighters failed to take lessons from past tragedies (as many firefighters have died in sewers over the years). If they had known those stories, they NEVER would have entered that space without SCBA. Make sure your company reviews this incident and never forgets so that this doesn’t happen yet again.

  • TOMMY

    AND… IN THE SADDEST OF FASHION… “THE BEAT GOES ON” AS GOLDFEDDER EXCLAIMS!!
    MAY GOD COMFORT THOSE BROTHERS, FAMILY AND FRIENDS THAT HAVE TO LIVE WITH THIS SENSELESS TRADEGY. REST IN PEACE BROTHER.HOPEFULLY THE REST OF US WILL LEARN AND NOT REPEAT THIS TRADEGY.

    THE FIRST POST BY THE SEATTLE GUY IS RIGHT ON.. THE LOW FREQUENCY.. HIGH IMPACT POTENTIAL EVENTS WILL BRING US TO OUR KNEES. HAVE A ROUGH PLAN FOR SUCH CALLS AND MANAGE THE RISK!

  • northchief

    Hopefully the lesson will be learned someday. It will be interesting to read the OSHA investigation, did the department have guidelines for confined space that were violated? or were there no procedures in place? I would hate to be this guys chief if no SOP was ever written addressing this. Obviously we cannot write guidelines for every instance but this is such a common occurrance, confined space entry, that it would be hard to believe there is nothing in writing.

  • Dr. W

    #
    Joseph Schmoe says

    How many times do we have to read this effing headline!
    on September 6, 2010 @ 11:52 pm.

    As many times as it takes to get the idea of establishing scene safety and using proper precautions into people’s heads.

  • simon

    Both men were members of the same fire company.

  • uk-fb-buff

    I agree with “Dr.W”. by my count this is the third time this calendar year such an incidnet has occured.

    From my view point, it seems that that their is:

    A) A lack of adquate training in Confined Space Rescue Recoginition/Entry.

    B) Which is some how interrelated in that a firefighter thinks that it is possible to make a “Snatch and Grab” rescue in a space that has a contaminated atmosphere that may not be readily detectable by the five human senses and becomes a LODD.

    My thoughts and prayers go out to the friends, family and co-workers of these victims.