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Old Town dam worker rescued after getting pinned in water

Milford Fire & Rescue Department Facebook photo | BDN
Milford Fire & Rescue Department Facebook photo | BDN
Rescue workers from Milford, Old Town and Orono fire departments helped free a pinned dam employee on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2012.
By Nok-Noi Ricker, BDN Staff

OLD TOWN, Maine — An employee of Black Bear Hydro Partners in Milford was working on the Milford dam on Wednesday morning and somehow got pinned by a splash board, Old Town fire acting Lt. David Daniels said.

Four employees were doing routine maintenance on the hydroelectric dam when a strut came loose and released the splash board at around 9:30 a.m., the acting lieutenant said.

“It pinned his leg on top of the dam and he was unable to get out of it on his own,” Daniels said.

The employee, who was not identified, and the three others with him could not free the man. The call for help was made at 9:41 a.m.

“He had a minor leg injury but hypothermia was our biggest issue,” Daniels said. “With the temperature of the water it doesn’t take long for hypothermia to set in.”

Water was going into the man’s hip waders, the fire official said.

Old Town, Orono and Milford fire officials assisted with the rescue. The man was taken by ambulance to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor.

One of the other employees working on the dam, a 30-year veteran, told fire officials that in his decades of working on dams, nothing similar has ever occurred. The four employees were tethered and all safety precautions were followed, Daniels said.

A Black Bear Hydro employee said at around 1 p.m. that the injured employee is doing fine.

“I know they are sending him home,” he said. “He’ll be back [at work] tomorrow.”

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