Two Massachusetts police officers are being credited for helping to provide crucial medical care to a man whose arm was severed during an industrial accident in Rockland on Friday morning.
Rockland Police Sgt. Thomas MacDonald and Officer Mark Nota responded to the National Coating Corp. on Industrial Way at 5:50 a.m. after receiving a 911 call for a man who was severely injured.
When the police officers arrived, the 66-year-old Pembroke man was sitting in a chair with a pool of blood beneath him. The victim's left arm had been severed at the elbow.
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Police said another worker had made a makeshift tourniquet using a T-shirt, but the victim was still losing large amounts of blood.
Nota retrieved a bag of medical supplies from the police cruiser and MacDonald then used a tourniquet kit to apply a tourniquet over the wound until victim's bleeding stopped.
"The gentleman lost his arm below the elbow so they went high of over the biceps. They locked it down, wrapped up, tightened it and they tighten down the bar until the blood stops," explained Rockland Dep. Police Chief Gerard Eramo.
Authorities said firefighters arrived minutes later and provided further assistance.
"Minutes count when you're losing that kind of blood like that. When blood is flowing from your extremities like that it comes out of the body relatively quick and he already lost quite a bit of blood there," said Eramo.
The victim, who has not been identified, was taken to South Shore Hospital in Weymouth, where he was listed in stable condition. He was later transported to Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and is expected to survive.
The exact cause of the accident is under investigation, but authorities said the victim had been working on a machine when his arm got caught and pulled into the gears, severing it.
"We can't say enough. Things like this don't happen often but it's great to know and I'm sure the citizens of Rockland would love to know that when it does happen and they are the first responders there, they can take care of the matter," said Eramo.
Police Chief John Llewellyn also praised his officers for their quick actions in helping to save the victim.
"I want to commend both our officers who responded and immediately took action that likely saved this man's life," Llewellyn said. "Our officers never know what they are going into when they respond to an incident. Which is why it is crucial to keep the medical supplies and tourniquet kits in our cruisers and properly train our officers how to apply medical aid when necessary."