Boston firefighters donned oxygen masks Friday morning to rescue a worker at an East Boston marine construction company who apparently passed out when oxygen levels dramatically declined while he was inside a barge, officials said.
The worker was removed in a semiconscious state and taken to an area hospital for treatment, according to Boston Fire Department spokesman Firefighter Marc Sanders.
Co-workers called first responders for help around 8:45 a.m. Friday, reporting that their colleague was trapped in a confined space on the barge, triggering a response by the department’s technical rescue unit, whose members are trained in the specialized emergency techniques.
Firefighters wearing oxygen masks made their way into the barge, where they provided the man with a source of oxygen and then raised him to the deck where Boston Emergency Medical Services personnel took over and transported him to a hospital.
Sanders said the man was in an area about 4 to 7 feet below the top deck of the barge, which was about 10 by 30 feet in size.
Sanders praised the firefighters who conducted the rescue.
“The worker was very lucky,” Sanders said. “It was a very quick response. After arriving, they had the victim out of the barge within approximately 10 to 12 minutes. They did an excellent job.”
The incident took place at BTT Marine Construction in the 300 block of Border Street in East Boston, the department said.
When reached by phone Friday afternoon, Scott Haggerty, the general manager of BTT Marine Construction, said the worker was “fine” but declined to comment further.
“Everything’s OK,” Haggerty said. “He’s fine.”
Jim Lally, a spokesman for the US Department of Labor, confirmed that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is inspecting BTT Marine Construction “to determine if the workplace is in compliance with workplace safety standards.”
Lally said it’s too early to estimate when the inspection will be completed.John R. Ellement can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.