Arlington firefighter suffers injury

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ARLINGTON — An Arlington firefighter was injured April 4 when a live, 7,200-volt powerline fell on him while crews were battling a brush fire.

Jeremy Fisher of the Arlington Fire Department was injured when a large oak tree, which was hollowed out and burning from the inside, was blown over in the strong, gusty wind. While the tree missed him, it pulled power lines down onto Fisher.

Fisher was transported from the scene of the fire to a landing zone where he was airlifted to Albany Medical Center.

Thursday, Albany Medical Center said they had no information to share, but Arlington Fire Chief Jamie Paustian said his firefighter was recovering in the surgical intensive care unit at the hospital and he had spoken to him the morning of April 5.

Details of his condition or injuries were not immediately available other than that Fisher had suffered burns.

Paustian said the 1 - to 2-acre fire they responded to about 6 p.m. was fed by a steady wind that was constantly changing directions with strong gusts.

"We kind of knocked the fire down relatively quick," Paustian said, but in one area several large trees, including an old oak tree about 4 feet in diameter, were near power lines and one oak was hollowed out and burning inside.

Paustian said firefighters were consulting with an employee of Green Mountain Power when the tree began to go.

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"We were assessing the tree when it started to crack," Paustian said.

Firefighters started yelling to clear the area.

"Jeremy was running the power blower and couldn't hear us," Paustian said.

Paustian immediately ordered an air evacuation as Fisher lay unconscious next to a live wire.

"We couldn't initially get to him because the lines were down and still live," Paustian said.

Eventually, a GMP employee was able to make his way into the scene and dragged Fisher out of the danger zone.

"Four of our members carried him out of the woods to the rescue squad that was waiting," Paustian said.

Manchester Fire Department had been called and set up a landing zone for the helicopter.

Contact Darren Marcy at dmarcy@manchesterjournal.com or by cell at 802-681-6534.


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