FLY CREEK — Assistant fire chiefs Jess Lanza and Henry Hight responded to a call that saved a town highway crewman’s life on Tuesday, July 13.
A crewman had gotten his boots stuck in a culvert in the area of Christian Hill after a beaver dam collapse caused rushing water to drag him into the collapsed and damaged pipe.
“It was actually just a mile from my house, so I was first on the scene,” Lanza said.
There he found two people holding the man from the water.
“We needed to essentially sling him and prevent him from going any further,” Lanza said.
The firefighters used a rescue sling which was able to hoist him up. Less than a minute afterwards, an ambulance arrived, which took him to the hospital. The crewman was “visibly exhausted,” but they say he only suffered minor injuries.
“It was a big relief when we got him about,” Hight said.
Cooperstown firefighter Henry Stewart, top left, and Fire Captain Chris Satriano watch for flare-ups after a fast-moving fire leveled Kip Coburn’s barn this evening at 324 Williams Road on Christian Hill, Town of Otsego. Coburn operates Wood Bull Antiques on Route 28, Milford, and said today the barn was used to store overflow antiques from that operation; all were lost. Coburn’s son said the only animals in the barn were chickens, and they escaped to safety. Inset, Cooperstown’s second assistant chief, Kevin Preston, moves debris to allow the flames to burn out. Firefighters responded from Fly Creek, Hartwick, Hartwick Seminary, Schuyler Lake and Richfield Springs, as well as Cooperstown. “They toned us all,” said Cooperstown firefighter Frank Capozza. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)