An accident at Fiber Glass Industries sent a man to Albany Medical Center via LifeNet helicopter Monday.
The man, who was described as in his late 40s and an employee of Fiber Glass Industries, was working at a machine when his shirt got caught in it, according to Michael Swartz, operations manager for the Greater Amsterdam Volunteer Ambulance Corps.
Swartz said the man’s shirt became wrapped in the machine and became so tight around his body that it began to strangle him. Swartz said the man’s co-workers were able to cut the shirt from his body to free him.
When emergency crews arrived at the FGI facility in the Edson Street Industrial Park, the man was conscious and able to communicate, Swartz said, however he was experiencing severe pain in his neck and was having trouble breathing. Emergency responders decided to place a breathing tube in his airway.
“It was the safest way to know that his airway was safe and secure until they could get to Albany Med and do X-rays,” Swartz said.
The LifeNet helicopter landed at St. Mary’s Institute on Church Street shortly after 1 p.m. to transport the man to Albany Medical Center.
Barbara Salie, employee program coordinator at FGI, said the man was working at a machine called a winder. The machine is located at the end of the process line where the fiberglass strand is wound into a small cardboard core.
Salie said the company has never had an accident like the one Monday, and is investigating it further.
FGI, which has manufactured fiberglass in the city for over 50 years, is in the process of updating its machinery, Salie said. The updates will include a mechanism that would prevent an accident like the one Monday.
“Any modernization we can do is getting done,” she said.
Salie would not release the name of the accident victim, and did not know his condition.