Firefighter saved from downed power line
By John Young, The Porterville Recorder
TULARE -- Quick action by a Tulare firefighter Saturday allowed rescue of a his co-worker, who had been shocked by a 12,000 volt power line.
Engineer Mark Fernandes said firefighter Luis Nevarez, 33, of Visalia, was shocked at about 1:30 p.m. Saturday at the scene of a downed power line in the 2000 block of Alcott Street.
Fernandes was acting captain on the incident.
A person in the neighborhood had been trimming a tree and a falling tree limb brought the high voltage line down, Fernandes said.
He was briefing the duty chief on the incident as Nevarez, a 10-year veteran, was working around the tree, he said.
"We turned around and Luis was doing something in the tree," he said. "Before we knew it, he grabbed the power line," he said.
Nevarez was being shocked, lost consciousness, still holding onto the line, Fernandes said.
"He was being electrocuted. He was dying," Fernandes said.
He had to separate the firefighter from the line, and the only thing he had was his clipboard, he said.
"I knew I had one shot, so I threw it and knocked the line out of his hand," he said.
He grabbed Nevarez by his turnout coat and dragged him away from the line, he said.
Nevarez regained consciousness at the scene, and was taken to Tulare District Hospital, where he was stabilized.
He underwent surgery on his arm and hand and is reported in serious but stable condition at University Medical Center in Fresno, Fernandes said.
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