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Firefighters Save Man Shocked by Power Lines

December 30, 2010 Leave a comment

St. Peter, MN – In what proved to be a brief but emotional event, several members of the Kasota Fire and Rescue Department were honored Wednesday evening for helping save the life of a Nicollet man who was electrocuted on October 20.

Le Sueur County Sheriff Tom Doherty and Chief Deputy Dave Tietz were on hand at the Kasota Community Center for a ceremony to honor John Iverson, Donnie Fromm, Bill Connors and members of the Kasota Fire Department for their efforts in saving Steve Barrer of Nicollet.

Barrer, along with Iverson, had been working on some power lines for the city of Kasota at around 2:45 p.m. when he was electrocuted. Barrer was elevated in the bucket of a boom truck while Iverson was down below when the incident happened.

While on the ground, Iverson looked up and noticed that his co-worker was slumped over in the bucket, possibly due to being electrocuted. Iverson then lowered Barrer down to the ground and removed him from the bucket.

Iverson could tell that Barrer was in full cardiac arrest and immediately began administering CPR on him.

Donnie Fromm and Bill Connors happened to be near by when the incident occurred and noticed there was a problem and quickly responded to where Iverson and Barrer were. Connors called for emergency assistance and monitored Steven’s vitals while Fromm helped Iverson with CPR.

Those three continued to provide medical attention to Barrer until the Kasota Fire Department arrived on scene. Once there, firefighters applied the automated external defibrillator (AED) to Barrer. The AED recycled twice and delivered two external shocks to Barrer, after which his heart began to beat once again on its own.

The firefighters continued to monitor Barrer until the ambulance personnel arrived at the scene. Barrer was later transported by Mayo One Air Ambulance to Regions Hospital in St. Paul where he received care and was released the following day without complications.

“I was advised by rescue personnel that following the shock from the AED that Steven  was actually speaking to them before being loaded and air lifted to Regions Hospital,” Doherty said. “I find it amazing that the tools we now have and have had for a long period of time are making the difference between life and death. And the knowledge, training and the willingness to get involved by the public in an emergency situation is incredible.

“I can’t say enough about our fire/rescue and ambulance personnel in Kasota and also throughout LeSueur County that do this on a daily basis without hesitation. Your efforts define the words ‘teamwork’.”

For Barrer, it was obviously an emotional moment for him seeing those responsible for saving his life as he expressed his thanks to each of them after the ceremony.

“I don’t remember anything about that day but eating dinner,” he said during the ceremony.

Kasota Fire Chief Lanny Woods commended his crew for job well done and emphasized how important the work is members of his department do in situations like the one Barrer experienced.

“It’s definitely great to put one in the ‘win’ column for a change,” Woods said. “We’ve had enough bad luck in this town for awhile and it’s nice to see something positive come out of this.”

Kasota Mayor Brett Christensen, whose term expires at the end of 2010, also expressed his thanks for the efforts of those first on the scene and also to his city’s fire department personnel.

“It’s nice to make an exit (as mayor) on such a high note,” Christensen said.

story via St.PeterHerlad.com


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