Skip to comments.Worker loses limb in accident on job 'I have my arm cut off, ma'am,' caller tells 911.
Posted on 01/02/2008 8:02:20 PM PST by trumandogz
The 911 call Wednesday morning started simply enough.
The caller, a 52-year-old employee of Alamo Concrete, gave the address of the company east of Manor. Gasping, he struggled to give the phone number. Then, he blurted out what was wrong: "I have my arm cut off, ma'am. I have my arm cut off."
The man's arm was amputated at the elbow after it became stuck in a conveyor belt of a machine at Alamo Concrete, said Warren Hassinger, spokesman for Austin/Travis County Emergency Medical Services. Officials released a recording of the 911 call later Wednesday.
The man, whose name was not released by authorities, was at work to warm up some equipment about 4:30 a.m. when his coat sleeve got stuck in the machine, Hassinger said.
The man typically went to the company, at 13101 Ballerstedt Road near Manor, early in the morning to start the machines for the day, Hassinger said.
He extricated himself from the machine in 15 minutes and called 911, Hassinger said.
The operator kept the man on the phone as paramedics went to the scene.
"Is there anyone else there with you?" she asked.
"No, no, no, Just me, ma'am, just me," the man said.
He said he had gone to the office once he untangled himself from the conveyer belt.
"Is there any serious bleeding?"
"I took my arm off, ma'am," the man said.
"What part of your arm?"
"I think at the elbow," he said, adding that parts of it were still caught in his jacket.
Hassinger said he was not sure whether the man cut off his limb or whether it was severed by the machine.
The 911 operator told him to stay still and apply pressure to the wound. The man said he was sitting in a chair and couldn't move.
Paramedics took him to Brackenridge Hospital at 4:57 a.m. The man almost died at the scene and was in critical but stable condition Wednesday, Hassinger said.
Elizabeth Todd, a spokeswoman for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, said the accident is under investigation.
According to the administration's records, the Alamo Concrete plant where the accident happened has not been investigated for safety hazards in the past five years.
Employees at Alamo Concrete did not respond to requests for comment Wednesday.
The man sound like a cool customer for someone that had just chopped off hi arm.
Dumb question of the year ...
“Is there any serious bleeding?”
‘Tis but a scratch!
Texans. Polite to the end...
It does look like a “here’s your sign” moment but some amputations that are crush injuries don’t bleed as much.
Wow. I pray he makes a full recovery. He sounds like one tough guy.
He was by himself? Was no one around to give him a hand?
No kidding, jeez.
Is there any serious bleeding?
Actually, it's not a dumb question. Following amputation by a sharp instrument, blood vessels may constrict and reduce bleeding. A crushing type amputation, however, will result in much more bleeding.
Yes, he certainly needs our prayers after that. What a horrific thing to go through, and to be stuck in the machine for 15 minutes!
I got the impression that it was ripped off
Same here. I dislocated a finger. It felt just strange until I looked at it and then the pain was terrible.
“Was no one around to give him a hand?”
Bad taste. I like it!
Of course these rules are broken all the time, I had a supervisor tell to climb up on the bucket of a huge CAT earthmover while the loading paddles were turning in order to check the drive gear oil. I told him "no way" and I got layed off soon after. Thats OK, the guy was an idiot, it was totally stupid. It could have been done safely from a ladder over the side.
in the construction industry, senseless risk taking is often a requirement and it becomes established protocal. If you speak up about safety the boss rolls his eyes and you are considered a trouble maker and whiner.
This is one of the worst pieces of writing I’ve seen in a while.
Hope the poor guy makes it - what an ordeal.
If a man’s arm is ripped off there will be serious bleeding .. thus a stupid question for trained professional to ask.
The trained professional was asking questions to obtain information, not answer the phone and then make assumptions. How is someone on a telephone supposed to determine the nature of an injury without asking about it?
Again, blood loss from a traumatic amputation may actually be minimal, depending on the circumstances.
"It's just a flesh wound!"
And a major part of it was just to keep him talking. It helps prevent passing out if you have to keep a clear head to answer the questions.
You can listen to the 911 call here. Chilling.
It never got past him gasping....
Was there more to it?
I got my hand hit by a baseball. My ring finger bone had slid over the top of my hand, so when I looked at it my finger was missing. I was ten years old and did freak out to say the least.
It goes on for 10 minutes until the policeman shows up and takes the telephone from him.
He’s in his fifties and works in a concrete plant. I’d say Chuck Norris is skeard of him!
The little button at the bottom of the player thing just races through it’s track. Probably just as well... I don’t think I could manage to listen to all 10 minutes. I’d likely have regretted it.
I listened to it till the end after the police arrived. He was very delirious and in shock but you can here the best line in the whole tape. The officer asks if there is a first aid kit, the man (Robert) says, “I think there are some band aids in the bathroom cabinet...but I don’t think that’ll work.”
Tough man of the Year 2008!
It would have been great if the man asked the dispatcher, “Hey, how bout some instructions a one armed man on the phone can do?”
Good that he kept his sense of humor.
How tragic. I’m glad he survived.
You got to like this guy.
the cop asks a dumb question and the guy with his arm ripped off comes back with a smart ass answer.
You can download the wav file here.
Just skip past the ad screen.
Each time I had an incident (and there were many) where I had something serious like this, I looked, but never felt any pain.
The pain comes later.
Obviously of British ancestry. Stiff upper lip an’ all that.
i hope you didn’t have too many incidents just like this! “voice to type” might be in your future. :^)
Only a flesh wound.
Sounds like a Southerner whose mama told him there was no excuse for discourtesy. None. Ever. "No, ma'am."
I've never actually lost a piece of myself, but I've had two deep finger lacerations, both accidentally self-inflicted. The one from the Swiss army knife on my thumb, almost ten years ago, has largely faded; the one from the electric hedge trimmer, about three years ago, is still pretty distinct.
In both cases, the pain didn't hit right away. I felt a little stunned, even seeing stars; I grabbed a rag, squeezed the hell out of the wound site, and held it over my head until I could get to the first aid kit to give it a proper dressing.
A sliced finger isn't a severed arm. But I can extrapolate a bit. I can see how someone who managed to handle that crisis, who knew enough to stanch the bleeding and stay conscious, could maintain a no-nonsense demeanor when telling the tale. Especially if the "yes, ma'am" level of courtesy is taught from earliest childhood and is as natural as breathing.
agreed. i might add that i sat in the er with no pain killers, told the nurses that my pain level was 1 (instead of 10), for 4 1/2 hours before a doctor came back and saw that part of my finger was hanging off and that there was a pool of blood on the floor. instead of claiming that the pain i was feeling (and it was minimal due, i think, to severed nerves) was greatly exaggerated, i just waited my turn.
One friday evening, when I was chilling with my workmates, I got a call from my mom. Could I come over and drive her to the hospital, it it’s not too much trouble?
It turned out to be a kidney stone. Not life-threatening, but incredibly painful. Of course, I got there as fast as I could, abusing traffic laws all the way. I got Mom to the local ER, which on a weekend night was a zoo. Got her a wheelchair and an ice pack, and then waited in the triage line.
Mom was 4’11” on her tallest day, and to use one of my favorite expressions, was the kind of Southern lady who could tell you to go to hell so sweetly that you’d look forward to the journey. She raised me. And here she was, doubled over and barely able to whimper.
At one point, a young woman walked up to the desk and started yelling because she had seen people who came n after her admitted before her. The young woman was not in apparent distress, and was nursing what appeared to be a sprained wrist. And she was trying to cut in front of my mom, who was doubled over in unbearable agony.
“Bitch,” I said, “This is not a deli. It is not first-come, first-served. Unless you are bleeding from both eyes, I don’t want to hear another f’ing word from you.”
Actually, I said that in my head. What I did in the real world was stand a few feet away, fold my arms, and glare. Don’t underestimate. I can bring a lot of glare. Mom got a lot of antibiotics, a decent measure of painkillers, and a metal screen to catch the stone. The assholes in the ER are let to wallow in their own wretchedness. I can’t avenge everything at once.
idiots and welfare recipients abound in the er with unbearable pain from papercuts.
BS. A limb torn off will always result in severe loss of blood. Stupid question.
Sure does. I've been in shock from a minor injury before. There's a certain sense of self detachment from the injury. All the endorphins flood your system and depending on the severity of the wound, the nerve clusters affected and such, the pain can feel distant.
But I don't think I'd be quite that calm.
Fine. Believe whatever you want. It’s pointless to attempt having a discussion with you. Happy new year.
Texas men...gotta love ‘em! (and I do!)
Reminds me of my uncle. When he was bout 5 years old he got ahold of dynamite caps (I think they were doing some road work in the area but this was back in the late 30s or early 40s so I wasn’t around). He was hitting one with a hammer and it blew up. It blew most of his fingers off on one hand and some on the other. Now, this 5 year old kid went home, bleeding, and found his uncle. He asked him if he could fix his hands before his Mom got home because he knew he would be in trouble.
I swear this is a true story, I heard it many times growing up and my Uncle Bill is missing most of his fingers on one hand (and he played football like that and was good enough to get a scholarship offer).
He’s a tough guy.
Seriously injured man dials phone.
“Thank-you for calling 911. All of our associates are currently assisting others. Please remain on the line. Estimated waiting time is ... 30 minutes.”
Horrible elevator music in the background.
Wow-—that poor man....
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