Firefighters rescue man who had foot caught in conveyor belt at Gutchess Lumber

CORTLANDVILLE, N.Y. - A man was airlifted to a Syracuse hospital Tuesday night after getting his foot caught in a conveyor belt, according to the Cortlandville Fire Department.

At around 10:22 p.m. Tuesday, the Cortlandville Fire Department and TLC Ambulance were dispatched to the Gutchess Lumber Company in Cortlandville for a man who had his leg trapped in a conveyor belt.

Firefighters arrived to find a male in his mid-twenties, conscious and alert, with his foot trapped between a support and heavy duty chain used in the removal of bark from logs, according to Cortlandville Assistant Fire Chief Mike Biviano.

Medics from TLC Ambulance applied a tourniquet to the man's leg to control the bleeding. They attempted to stabilize the man, who was showing significant signs of shock.

Cortlandville firefighters along with company staff who were familiar with the equipment devised a plan to remove the man's foot from the machine while other members of the fire department established a landing zone for a Mercy Flight helicopter.

Crews used wrenches and wedges to remove the chain and other hardened material from around the man's foot. Firefighters were able to remove enough material to be able to pull the man's foot back through the conveyor belt, where it was free of obstructions.

It took about 1 hour and 11 minutes to extricate the man's foot from the machine, according to Cortlandville Fire Chief Jared Gebel.

The man was placed in a stretcher and carried to an ambulance. He was then transported to the helicopter and flown to SUNY Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse, where he is being treated for his injuries.