By Kaitlyn Schwers
OCTOBER 7, 2016
A Shiloh police officer used a canvas strap to pull a construction worker from a puddle of electrified water Friday morning, then a second officer used chest compressions to revive the man.
Shiloh Police Chief Jim Stover said the accident happened behind the police department a few minutes after 8:45 a.m. It resulted in two workers being taken to the hospital by an O’Fallon ambulance crew.
Stover said officers responded to a call at a construction site outside Wilke Window & Door. Officers found one worker in some water. The worker was unconscious and “had no heartbeat,” Stover said.
Stover said the worker appeared to have been using a saw to cut concrete. Police said a second worker tried to pull the first worker out of the water, but was unsuccessful. Stover said the second worker was not seriously injured, but had “a very visible reaction to being shocked.”
That’s when the two Shiloh officers took action. Stover said Officer Brad Blake used a canvas tie strap to pull the worker from the water. Another officer, Mark Geyer, started performing chest compressions to get him breathing. The man was stabilized after Blake used a defibrillator.
Stover said the worker appeared to be breathing by the time an ambulance crew took him to the hospital. Information on his condition was not immediately available later Friday, but police said they expect him to recover.
“In my opinion, if my two officers had not used the professional training they received, I don’t believe the victim would have survived until our ambulance got there,” Stover said. “It was a challenge to get him out from where he was, but everyone worked together.”
In my opinion, if my two officers had not used the professional training they received, I don’t believe the victim would have survived until our ambulance got there. It was a challenge to get him out from where he was, but everyone worked together.
Shiloh Police Chief Jim Stover
The Fairview Heights office of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration said it was notified of the accident. Karl Armstrong, assistant area director, said OSHA did not have the name of the construction company that employs the two workers, and said the agency was “just beginning the investigation” by Friday afternoon.
A message to the owner of the Wilke company was not immediately returned by Friday afternoon.
O’Fallon Fire Chief Brent Saunders had confirmed earlier Friday that two people were taken by ambulance to a hospital after they were hurt in an “electrical incident” outside a business in the 3500 block of Lebanon Avenue in Shiloh.
An Ameren Illinois crew was called as a precaution, the fire chief said, but the electric company was not involved.
The workers were using electric saw to cut the concrete and it is possible that the electric cord was damaged and was immersed in water; the electrified water then shocked the workers.