Injured worker rescued by boat in Turners Falls

  • The Turners Falls Fire Department used its boat Monday to rescue an injured worker at the collapsed riverbank off Millers Falls Road. COURTESY PHOTO/TURNERS FALLS FIRE DEPARTMENT

Staff Writer
Published: 9/22/2020 10:01:37 AM

TURNERS FALLS — An injured worker at the collapsed riverbank off Millers Falls Road was rescued via the river Monday afternoon before being transported by ambulance with non-life-threatening injuries to Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield.

The Turners Falls Fire Department was called at about 2 p.m. from the collapsed embankment on Millers Falls Road, which the Department of Public Works has been working to stabilize. Fire Chief John Zellmann said a worker at the site was reported to have a leg injury, and was at the bottom of the embankment and couldn’t climb up.

In deciding how to extract the injured worker, the Fire Department had two options, Zellmann said. The man could either be pulled up to the road, or — because he was so close to the river — he could be transported by boat and then transferred to an ambulance at another point on the river.

Bringing the worker up the bank would have been a “technical rescue” involving ropes, Zellmann said, so it was decided to use the boat instead, even though it wasn’t exactly a water rescue.

“It was easier and quicker to transport him that way than to set up a bunch of ropes,” Zellmann said.

On the boat, the patient was brought to the Millers Falls Rod & Gun Club, where an ambulance was waiting.

While on scene, another medical call came to the station, requiring the department’s second ambulance to respond. Zellman explained the second call was for a sick person, and was not logistically complicated. He said the Greenfield Fire Department provided station coverage while the Turners Falls Fire Department responded to the two calls.

Reach Max Marcus at or 413-930-4231.

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