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Waukesha Firefighters free man's hand from snowblower, finish shoveling his driveway

Posted at 9:57 AM, Jan 11, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-11 10:57:16-05

WAUKESHA — Waukesha firefighters freed a man's hand from a snowblower during Tuesday's winter storm.

Crews were called to a home just before 4 p.m. for a traumatic injury. Waukesha Fire Division Chief Pat Rettler says crews ultimately had to use a saw to free the man's hand.

He described the man's condition as a "crush injury."

Rettler says they get a few calls each year for someone trying to clear out a snowblower using their arm or hand.

Those situations have a different layer of stress.

"A person in front of us that's obviously in distress and so we want our choices to be as fast as possible as quick as possible to help prevent any further injury," Rettler explained.

With another round of snow on the way, Rettler reminds people to use these machines safely.

"If you're having trouble with your snowblower, clogging that you utilize the stick provided with the snowblower or another stick not using your arms or hands, and making sure the machine is off prior to freeing the clog, because there may be stored energy in the augers that could release," Rettler stated.

Before firefighters left the scene they took the time to finish shoveling his driveway.

"Make sure when he returns home that he doesn't have to worry about snow removal as well," Rettler said.

The man was taken to Waukesha Memorial Hospital.