Industrial drill amputates construction worker’s arm in Hillsboro Beach

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - Rescue crews took a construction worker to the hospital after an industrial drill cut off his arm in Hillsboro Beach.

According to the Broward Sheriff’s Office, witnesses said the 44-year-old construction worker was working with an auger at a construction site when his arm became trapped in the drill bit, Thursday morning.

Investigators said the force of the drill bit caused a complete amputation of his right arm below the shoulder.

The crew from Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue Station 4 knew when they responded that time was of the essence to save the worker’s life and his amputated limb.

“Once you get there, you have to visualize what’s going on, and you’re like, ‘OK, what do you need?'” said Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue Lt. Richard Lanziero.

“I gave a quick game plan about what we were going to do,” said Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue Firefighter/Paramedic Terry Emile.

“He was actually most concerned about where his arm was,” said Lanziero. “He just kept saying, ‘Make sure you get my arm, make sure you get my arm. Where’s my arm? … Please, please, please.’ He was really concerned about bringing that arm with him.”

A Hillsboro Beach Police officer at the scene had applied a tourniquet on the victim before paramedics arrived.

“I got up to him. I got down, kind of prepared to do put a tourniquet on and do some things, and Hillsboro PD had already put the tourniquet on, had already had it bandaged up,” said Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue Firefighter/Paramedic Maurice Slydell, “so at that point, it was just stabilizing him.”

The man was rushed to Broward Health North, but his injuries were so severe, doctors opted to have him airlifted to Broward Health Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale. His arm was packed on ice and transported as well.

“It goes right to your stomach. You know, it can happen to anybody in a split second,” said fellow construction worker Guy Paterra. “It doesn’t take long, man.”

Officials said surgeons will attempt to reattach the victim’s arm.

“Hopefully they can fix him back up, and he’ll be OK,” said Paterra.

Officials believe it was the swift action of the responding officer that helped save the worker’s life.

“It’s all you can say, as far as the cop being there at the same time,” said Paterra, “because if not, he would have lost his life and bled to death right here.”

Emile said the victim was conscious and in stable condition.

“The patient was extremely calm and coherent the whole time,” he said.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has since responded and is investigating the incident.

Meanwhile, the first responders who came to the worker’s rescue said they hope they gave him a chance at regaining the use of his arm.

“Ice pack, you’ve got to keep it cool, and that gives the arm the best chance at survivability,” said Lanziero.

“It’s just another call. It’s just what we do,” said Emile.

Investigators have not released the victim’s name. At last word, he was going into surgery.

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