Centennial Celebration
Firefighters Recount Daring Rescue on Verrazano Bridge

SILive - May 17, 2017

by KYLE LAWSON

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- A daring rescue this week by firefighters on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge was laid out in detail on Facebook within hours of the incident.

"We received multiple calls for an unconscious worker on the Verrazano Bridge," said FDNY Lt. Joseph Light, according to an account on the agency's social media page.

"The patient fell approximately 25 feet from the upper level of the bridge, onto an electrical conduit, and was unresponsive," said Light.

If the conduit had not broken his fall, the worker likely would have landed on the roadway for the Gowanus Expressway about 100 feet below the span, according to a police source.

Firefighters cut through fencing blocking access to the conduit, and firefighter Thomas Baez strapped in to "high-angle" equipment to be lowered to the patient.

Further complicating the rope operation was a confined space in which Baez had to work with, explained Light.

"There was no room to put the patient onto a stokes basket, so instead we tied the patient in a hasty harness, which is something we make out of tubular webbing."

Employed by Tutor Perini Corp., the contractor was working on the upper level roadway deck replacement project, an MTA source said.

The worker was transported to NYU Lutheran Medical Center in Brooklyn, said a spokesman for the FDNY/EMS.

He was in stable condition, alert and conscious with a compound fracture to at least one of his legs, according to police.