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Campus electrician dies on the job at UW-Madison

A seven-year employee of the University of Wisconsin-Madison was recently killed in an accident while on the job. The electrician had been working in a confined space in the university's Mills Concert Hall when the fatal accident occurred.

School authorities contacted Madison police and fire rescue units around 4:15 p.m. on a recent Tuesday to report a suspected electrocution accident. Emergency responders were told the Sun Prairie, Wisconsin man was working in an attic-type storage area in the Humanities Building.

The Madison Fire Department reported its members had difficulty reaching the workplace accident victim. The area in the music hall was only accessible by ladder, with a small 4-by-4 square foot entry door. First responders had to design a rope system to lower the victim from the tight space.

Fire crews were forced to use a vertical approach to rescue the unconscious man. Madison Fire's Heavy Rescue Team (HURT) was called to assist. The HURT unit is used when victims are trapped in difficult-to-reach places, such as collapsed structures and under-sized spaces.

Emergency teams harnessed the injured man and slowly lowered him in a stand-up position to help below. The electrician was immediately transferred to the University of Wisconsin Hospital, where medical staff were unable to revive him. He was pronounced dead an hour after the first responders had been called to the job accident scene.

The university issued a news release offering condolences to the employee's family and friends and praising the electrician's work and service record. An on-campus counseling service has been set up for faculty, staff and students who were affected by the loss.

Sources:

•· University of Wisconsin-Madison, "Update: UW-Madison electrician dies from injuries," July 27, 2011.

•· Channel 3000 "UW Electrician Dies after Electrocution on Campus," July 27, 2011.

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