Window Washers Electrocuted
One brought back to life
Story & photos by Ex Captain Steven Grogan
Story updated 12/1/10
Two window washers were electrocuted last Saturday morning, November 27th, when a pole they were using to wash windows at a bank on Merrick Road in Lynbrook struck a high tension line. One of the men went into cardiac arrest but was brought back to life by Lynbrook firefighters.
At about 7:30 AM, Lynbrook firefighters were responding to a house fire on Robertson Road when they were notified of a second call for a reported “electrocution” at the Bank of America, located at 300 Merrick Road.
Truck Company firefighter Josh Parsons, an AMT, enroute to Truck Company for the house fire was a block away when the second call came in. He responded to the bank and found Lynbrook Police Officers Frank Menna, Doug King, and Sal Sedita, also arriving on the scene. They found two men lying together on the sidewalk in front of the bank. One of them, later identified as 64 year old Alan Weinberg, was lying atop a 40 foot window washing pole which was sticking up in the air, in the nearby tree, and close to the power lines. With the danger of the pole still near the 33,000 volt power line, Firefighter Parsons and Police Officer Menna dragged both men away from the pole to safety. Police Officer Menna also removed the pole from the tree.
Weinberg was found to be in cardiac arrest and had no pulse, while the second man, identified as 58 year old Nicholas Genovese was conscious but in extreme pain and did not know what had happened.
Firefighter Parsons with the assistance of Police Officer King began immediate CPR on Weinberg right there on the sidewalk. Firefighter Parsons then administered the first of three shocks from a defibrillator but there was still no response and no pulse. At that time NCPD detective Gary Ferrucci arrived and took over performing CPR chest compressions on Weinberg. Again, no response or vidal signs from Weinberg.
Hose Company from nearby Blake Avenue who was also responding to the house fire stopped at the bank. Ex-Chief Garry Pazmann then relieved Detective Ferrucci and continued CPR, while other members of Hose Company went to the aid of Genovese. Also arriving on the scene was Hose Company Captain James Eisenhauer, an EMT, who relieved Pazmann, and continued CPR chest compressions. Firefighter Parsons requested a county ambulance to the scene along with the department’s Emergency Medical Company.
At about this time, Third Deputy Chief Edward Hynes arrived at the bank from the house fire, followed by the Emergency Medical Company and other diverted Lynbrook fire units.
Even with all the efforts of police officers and firefighters, Weinberg still had no pulse. While everyone was concentrating on reviving Weinberg, Genovese was placed on a stretcher for transportation to the Nassau County Firefighters Burn Center at Nassau University Medical Center. Genovese and Weinberg received burns to theirs hands and feet.
Both window washers, from a local company, had reportedly been holding the 40 foot pole with a brush on the end cleaning the third story windows of the bank when a gust of wind sent the pole into the 33,000 volt power line that runs along Merrick Road. Both were electrocuted and thrown to the sidewalk with Weinberg going into cardiac arrest. The electricity came down the pole into their hands, went through their body, and exited out their feet.
For another 15 minutes, Captain Eisenhauer and firefighter Parsons constantly performed CPR and defibrillated Weinberg again without success and without re-gaining a pulse. Finally, after being defibrillated a third time he was finally revived in the Emergency Medical Company ambulance on the way to the hospital. Electricity killed him and electricity brought him back to life. Weinberg was transported by an Emergency Medical Company ambulance to South Nassau Hospital in critical condition.
Emergency Medical Company Captain Tracey LaBarbera who was on the scene to coordinate the medical efforts acknowledged the work of Captain Eisenhauer, a NYC firefighter, and firefighter Parsons, a Suffolk Police Academy trainee, who worked tirelessly on Weinberg and never stopped in their efforts to revive him. Their efforts, along with the many police officers, firefighters, and Medical Company EMT’s, finally brought Weinberg back to life.
Deputy Chief Edward Hynes acknowledged the great team work of all those people who never gave up until Weinberg had a pulse and was once again breathing again.
Weinberg is alive but in very critical condition with fourth degree burns and is now being treated in the Burn Center at Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow. Genovese is suffering third degree burns and will soon be released from the Burn Center.
Fire officials also reported that Weinberg’s brother was shocked in a similar type incident some 20 years ago on Freer Street in Lynbrook. He survived.
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Revised: 21 Feb 2017 09:07:35 -0500 .
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