Off-duty EMS worker praised for helping roof workers shocked by electrical line

An off-duty firefighter-paramedic is credited with quick action that apparently saved the life of a roofer shocked Wednesday while working on a county building in Lebanon.

Ted Bowers, a firefighter-paramedic in Lebanon, was moving in across the street from the Warren County complex on East Silver Street in Lebanon when at 10:05 a.m. a “possible electrocution” was reported.

“He heard the commotion across the street and kind of took charge,” Lebanon Fire Chief Steve Johnson said. “The gentlemen are very lucky to be alive.”

Lebanon Police Capt. Dave Gehringer said multiple 911 calls came in about the possible electrocution involving workers at 320 E. Silver St. in downtown Lebanon.

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The workers were setting up a ladder, later described as a shingle hoist, when they bumped a power line running between the old Warren County Jail and Sheriff’s Office and another county building at 320 E. Silver St., according to Gehringer.

The power line carried 7,200 volts (car batteries carry about 13 volts), Johnson said.

One of the victims was hauled from a bush by Bowers, Johnson said.

The victims were identified as Kyle Gilliam, 30, of Waynesville and Jacob Asher, 41, of Lebanon.

Asher and Gilliam were taken to Atrium Medical Center, where they were reportedly breathing and awake.

Bowers and other emergency workers began CPR about four minutes after the incident and had both men breathing about seven minutes later, according to the run sheet.

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An Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) was brought over and used to revive one of the victims, according to Johnson.

“The other one was talking the entire time,” Johnson said. “It was actually over pretty quick.”

The victims were transported to the hospital in Middletown at 10:20 a.m., according to reports.

Gilliam is to be admitted and Asher was in the emergency room about 3 p.m., according hospital officials.

Police said the Occupational Safety and Health Administration had been contacted about the workplace accident.

OSHA confirmed it was investigating the accident involving workers from Mid-Miami Roofing, based in Monroe.

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The county is renovating the 120-year-old building.

The county commissioners issued a statement indicating the workers were injured when “a piece of equipment fell backwards, hitting nearby power lines.”

“We thank the bystanders who provided quick medical assistance at the scene,” the statement said.”We also appreciate the quick response from the Lebanon Police and Fire Departments who provided assistance and transport to the hospital.”

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