Firefighter describes horror amputation at Sheffield skip firm

Yorkshire WasterCare, Ecclesfield.
Yorkshire WasterCare, Ecclesfield.

A teenager is in hospital today after having his arm amputated in an emergency operation at a Sheffield firm.

The 18-year-old was working at skip hire and waste management company Yorkshire WasteCare in Ecclesfield when his arm got mangled in the workings of a conveyor belt.

Horrified colleagues raised the alarm.

Firefighters battled for around 90 minutes to free his arm but he could not be released.

The Health and Safety Executive has launched an investigation to establish the circumstances leading up to the incident.

Crew manager Richard Holmshaw, of Elm Lane fire station, said the emergency services worked together to try to save the man’s arm but it was to no avail.

A specialist team of medics from Leeds raced to the scene to help stabilise and sedate the casualty before performing the amputation. The teenager was unconscious when he was taken to hospital.

Crew manager Holmshaw said: “When we arrived we found an 18-year-old with his arm trapped in a rolling conveyor belt.

“We must have tried with the ambulance workers and paramedics for 90 minutes to free him but, despite trying and trying, the damage was so severe they had to amputate it at the scene.

“All the services worked really hard together to try to save this young man’s arm, but there was nothing that could be done and, with time critical, the decision to amputate at the scene was made.

“We had to be very careful when we were trying to free him or he could have bled to death.

“He was sedated and generally conscious and talking, up until the amputation when he was given more drugs to induce unconsciousness.”

* Do you know the young man involved? Email or call the newsdesk: 0114 252 1346.