Quick-Thinking Local 2507 EMT Saves a Man’s Severed Arm

Photo: Clarence Elie-Rivera

BY DIANE S. WILLIAMS

A fast-acting Emergency Medical Technician in Local 2507 saved the severed arm of a man who was struck by a train on Staten Island.

EMT Francis Jost usually works in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, but on that chilly February night he was working an overtime assignment in his Staten Island neighborhood when the call came over the radio around 10:30 p.m. that a man was struck by a train at the Pleasant Plains station.

“When I reached the train tracks someone handed me the arm and my mind went to ice. I need ice fast. ICE HOSPITAL GO!” recalled Jost. “I knew there was a bar nearby where I would go to shoot pool sometimes. If we could get ice and pack the limb, maybe we’d save it.”

Turns out his idea worked. The call went out for ice.

Jost ran down the station steps with the limb in his arms and met another EMT holding the trash bag filled with ice from Hot Shotz, the neighborhood bar. They packed the limb in ice and raced to Staten Island University Hospital in an ambulance with the air conditioning on full blast and the windows wide open in hopes of doing all they could to keep the severed arm cold.

Jost, who lives near the Amboy Road watering hole, credits his training as an EMT that helps him to think quickly and act fast to save lives.

Because the EMTs kept the limb alive by preserving it on ice for the trip to the hospital emergency room, doctors were able to reattach the man’s arm.

A close brush with disaster inspired Jost to become an EMT. “Years ago I witnessed a huge pileup on the Pennsylvania Turnpike,” he said. “So many people were injured, some were walking around like zombies– they were in shock. I felt helpless. I determined then and there to get medical training as a first responder.”

Now an FDNY EMT for five years, Jost is always ready to respond using his life-saving skills and ingenuity. He said, “It’s all part of the job, I really don’t consider myself a hero.”

“Every day dedicated EMTs like Francis Jost work alongside Firefighters and Police as first responders to give lifesaving medical attention to New York’s sick and injured,” said Uniformed EMTs, Paramedics, and Inspectors FDNY Local 2507 President Oren Barzilay.

“This is a small glimpse of the work our EMTs, paramedics and fire inspectors do on a day-to-day basis. Jost’s quick actions have unequivocally positively changed the victim’s quality of life by saving his arm,” Barzilay said. “There’s simply no value to put on that.”

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