Tarrytown, NY - Paramedic Rescues Jewish Woman On Ventilator After Crane Collapse
Last updated on: July 21, 2016 03:12 PM
Tarrytown, NY - A trip to a Westchester doctor nearly proved fatal to a 26 year old Jewish woman from Spring Valley when she found herself stuck on the Tappan Zee Bridge during this week’s crane crash, tethered to life saving medical equipment that was rapidly losing power.
The woman, who can only breathe with the help of a ventilator, was being transported by a Medway Transportation ambulette to her home when the crane came crashing down onto the Tappan Zee shortly after noon this past Tuesday.
The patient’s mother, who accompanied her on the visit to the doctor, did not have a charging cord with her for the trip, which should have taken just 25 minutes under normal traffic conditions.
According to MedWay operations manager Lisa Goldberg, the ventilator can hold a charge for 60 to 90 minutes once it is unplugged from a power source.
The ambulette was stuck on the westbound side of the Tappan Zee on the straight section of roadway just past the bridge’s superstructure, approximately three quarters of a mile east of the fallen crane.
Goldberg said that they became aware that the ambulette was detained in traffic at about 12:10 PM. Six minutes later, when word came of the crane collapse, Goldberg realized that the situation was extremely serious.
“I had my dispatching supervisor speak with the driver and the family on board the ambulette,” Goldberg told VIN News. “We contacted Rockland Mobile Care who had the closest ambulance and they sent a medic out to the bridge.”
Goldberg was on the phone with the patient’s mother, trying to reassure her that help was on the way as the ambulance raced to the Tappan Zee, with its lights flashing and sirens blaring. Reaching the bridge, the ambulance navigated its way through traffic up the eastbound lanes, coming to a stop at the accident site.
Langbaum jumped out of the ambulance, grabbed her ventilator and leaped over the center divider in order to reach the stranded ambulette. Officials on site initially tried to stop Langbaum until she explained that she was trying to reach a patient who was facing life threatening conditions on the bridge.
“They assisted her in climbing through the boom and got her to a construction vehicle so that they could get to the ambulette, which was located about three quarters of a mile up the bridge,” said Goldberg.
By the time Langbaum reached the ambulette, the ventilator was already beeping, an indication that a loss of power was imminent.
“She had just gotten the patient switched over to the charged vent when it beeped two more times and shut off,” said Goldberg.
The entire nail-biting episode was safely concluded in less than half an hour and Goldberg praised Langbaum, whom she described as a close friend, for saving the young woman’s life.
“They were literally within two to three minutes of a catastrophe,” said Goldberg.
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