BOWLING GREEN, Md. — A roofing company employee suffered severe burns Wednesday when the manlift he was operating came into contact with electrical lines while he was working in the Upper Potomac Industrial Park, according to the Allegany County Department of Emergency Services.
The unidentified man was reportedly talking with first responders as he was being treated at the scene and before being flown to the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore by Maryland State Police Trooper 5 helicopter.
No other injuries were reported in the incident that was reported to the Allegany County 911 center at 11:32 a.m. with first reports indicating the victim was down in the apparatus with nearby power lines on fire.
Bowling Green Volunteer Fire Company Deputy Chief Steve Adams was incident commander for the rescue that could not be performed until power was shut off to the involved high tension electrical lines.
“It was very stressful,” said Adams, who is employed as a paramedic with the Cumberland Fire Department. “There was a lot going on all at one time but we made a rescue as quickly as we could.”
The lines were on fire next to the General Graphics building when Bowling Green firefighters arrived, prompting 911 dispatchers to order evacuation of that building.
Potomac Edison personnel shut off power to the lines to allow first-responders using ladder trucks from Bowling Green and LaVale to extricate the victim.
The fire in the downed electrical lines was extinguished at about the same time the rescue was being performed, said Roger Bennett, deputy director of the Department of Emergency Services. The fire did not extend to the General Graphics building, he said.
“It was a good use of everyone’s resources and UPMC Western Maryland, which is our medical command for our county, gave authorization for Trooper 5 to fly direct to Bayview,” Bennett said.
Rawlings and Ridgeley volunteer fire departments also assisted at the scene and the landing zone in the area of the incident was set up for the helicopter by the Cumberland Fire Department. A county paramedic unit from Cresaptown also responded to the incident.
“Overall, it was good work by the first responders who quickly identified the problem and mitigated all the hazards so that a successful and safe rescue could be accomplished,” Bennett said.
Bennett said the victim could not be rescued for about a half-hour until electricity was shut off and the fire in the manlift was extinguished.