2012-09-05 / Front Page

Gaffney firefighters honored for saving lightning strike victim

By TIM GULLA Ledger Staff Writer tim@gaffneyledger.com


Gaffney Fire Chief Jamie Caggiano (left) honors (left to right) Lt. Matt Davis, Engineer Billy Bishop, Firefighter Michael Scruggs and Capt. Scott Coleman during Tuesday’s Gaffney City Council meeting for their meritorious actions in responding to a July 16 lightning strike that severely injured a roadside worker. 
(Ledger photo / TIM GULLA) Gaffney Fire Chief Jamie Caggiano (left) honors (left to right) Lt. Matt Davis, Engineer Billy Bishop, Firefighter Michael Scruggs and Capt. Scott Coleman during Tuesday’s Gaffney City Council meeting for their meritorious actions in responding to a July 16 lightning strike that severely injured a roadside worker. (Ledger photo / TIM GULLA) Four members of the City of Gaffney Fire Department were honored Tuesday during the Gaffney City Council meeting for their efforts July 16 in responding to a lightning strike.

At approximately 5:40 p.m. that day, Fire Chief Jamie Caggiano said, a lightning bolt struck and severely injured a man who was working along North Granard Street. A co-worker of the man and a passing volunteer firefighter immediately started CPR on the lightning strike victim until city firefighters arrived.

New automated external defibrillators recently purchased by the city automatically record all of the life signs they sense when activated, Caggiano said.

And when the city firefighters hooked up an AED to the lightning strike victim, the chief said, it showed “This gentleman’s heart hard no electrical activity whatsoever.”

Following approximately two minutes of continued CPR, the chief said, the man’s heart was beating again.

While an update couldn’t be independently obtained Tuesday afternoon, Caggiano relayed to council that he’s heard the man is doing very well considering what happened to him.

For their efforts at the scene, Caggiano presented the firefighters with meritorious action pins. Receiving the pins were: Capt. Scott Coleman, Lt. Matt Davis, Engineer Billy Bishop and Firefighter Michael Scruggs.

Fire Capt. Wayne Brown, who was not present for the council meeting, also will be receiving a pin.

“Because of their training and their equipment, this turned out to be a positive outcome,” the chief said.

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