Written by Joe Scotchie Friday, 18 December 2009 00:00
Volunteer firemen from both of the Roslyn fire companies were among the first on the scene as they helped to rescue a Brentwood man who had fallen into an 18-foot hole at a residential construction site in East Hills.
The drama took place last Tuesday, Dec. 8 at 19 Peacock Drive. According to Nassau County police, at 11:15 a.m., police officers, along with numerous local fire companies, responded to Peacock Drive for an aided case and found that cesspool worker Mario Flores of Brentwood had fallen into an 18-foot hole and was trapped.
Volunteers from both Roslyn Rescue and Roslyn Highlands arrived on the scene at around 11:20 a.m. Salvatore Mirra, Roslyn Rescue fire chief, said that once there, they contacted the North Bellmore and Bethpage fire companies since both had the special equipment needed for such a rescue operation.
When they arrived on the scene, firemen found that a co-worker was also in the hole, trying to rescue Flores. And so, the first piece of business, Mirra said, was to rescue the co-worker before he also got stuck and found his own life in danger.
After that, the main task at hand, Mirra added, was to keep the integrity of the walls surrounding the hold intact. If the walls collapsed, then the victim could have been buried alive.
Firemen and rescue workers began shoring up the walls with planks of wood, Mirra said. With that done, workers were able to safely complete the rescue operation.
Mirra said he didn’t know how the victim fell into the hole, but he praised the efforts of all the fire companies involved.
“The well-coordinated effort by all of those on the scene resulted in a wonderful success and the saving of a life,” Mirra said. “It was a joint effort with great teamwork.”
It wasn’t until 3:50 p.m. that the victim was extricated from the hole and airlifted by Nassau County Aviation to Nassau University Medical Center for evaluation.
According to police, Flores was conscious and alert at the scene and possibly suffered from hypothermia in addition to containment syndrome (crushing of internal organs).
“I am grateful to all those who rescued me, especially the firemen, police officers and all the EMS personnel who sacrificed themselves and stayed with me during the entire time of my rescue,” Flores said in a statement to the media. “I felt that they treated me with compassion and concern. I was very well cared for at Nassau University Medical Center, and I thank the hospital staff. I had faith in God and all those helping me.”
In addition to both Roslyn Rescue and Roslyn Highlands, other fire companies at the scene were the New York City Fire Department, Freeport Fire Department, North Bellmore Fire Department, plus Emergency Services Unit, Emergency Ambulance Bureau, Highway Patrol, and Con Edison.