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Painter recovering after 8,000-volt shock in Hingham

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  August 30, 2012 02:55 PM

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A house painter is recovering at Brigham & Women’s hospital today after being shocked by over 8,000 volts of electricity in Hingham Wednesday morning.

According to Hingham Fire Chief Mark Duff, a painter with MA Falvey Painting Services, based in Hingham, was working on a single-family home on Layfayette Street at around 8:18 a.m. when the ladder he had been working with fell against a power line.

When the man went to move the ladder, he was shocked by current going through both hands all the way through his feet. Immediately he went into cardiac arrest, Duff said.

Witnesses immediately called 911 after seeing the incident, and dispatchers gave instructions on how to perform CPR while fire professionals arrived on scene.

When fire safety officials arrived, they put a cardiac monitor on him, shocked the patient back to life, and transported him to South Shore Hosptial with a heartbeat.

“Through the efforts of some aggressive firefighter paramedics and some bystanders, his life was saved,” Duff said. “He was an extremely lucky person.”

Duff would not release the name of the victim, but only said he was a male about 30 years old. He was transported to Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston on Wednesday and was recovering there on Thursday from both the shock and several burns.

According to Duff, the victim is probably suffering from some internal organ damage.

Although the incident was traumatic, everyone came together to make the best outcome possible, Duff said.

“I want to commend everybody working, [including] our newly formed regionalized dispatch center, who handled the incident nicely. Not only were they dealing with cardiac arrest, but in another part of town there was a missing two-year-old, and another of the four communities was dealing with a patient having a seizure. It all happened at the same time, but our new regional dispatch center did a great job,” Duff said.

The regional emergency dispatch center, which opened last fall, now serves Hingham, Hull, Norwell, and Cohasset.

Several houses in the area lost power for a short time during the incident. Hingham Municipal Light Plant workers arrived on scene shortly after the incident to repair the failed wire.

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