By Frank Lewis
New Boston Village Administrator Steve Hamilton is crediting members of his service department as well as a member of the New Boston Fire Department for coming to his immediate aid when he suffered injuries in a work-related accident last week.
“The hose on the gas pump exploded,” Hamilton said. “It happened over here in the service garage. I was looking down and I heard this fizzing, and I thought that I had run over a nail. So I turned around and looked and the next thing I knew the hose on the nozzle exploded and it just went all over me - my face, my whole body. I dove for the shut-off switch and got it shut off. But then I couldn’t see anything because so much gas got in my eyes and it went down in my throat.”
Hamilton said it burned the inside of his esophagus and the tissue.
“The servicemen and Deric Paxson from the (New Boston) fire department came over and took all my clothes off, except for my underwear, and kept a hose on me until the ambulance got there,” Hamilton said. “Deric and them were smart enough and brave enough to get all of my clothes off of me and squirt me with the water hose and try to get my eyes flushed out.”
Hamilton said they were going to take him to Cabell Huntington Hospital in Huntington, W.Va., but since it was more of a chemical burn than it was a fire burn, he was flown by helicopter to St. Mary’s Hospital in Huntington.
The accident occurred Thursday, June 26 and Hamilton returned home from St. Mary’s on Saturday.
“I lost some vision in my right eye and I’m dealing with the eye doctors,” Hamilton said. “I finally got a doctor that would take me. It was Workers Comp(ensation), so I’m going down to Occupational Medicine at SOMC (Southern Ohio Medical Center).
Hamilton said he has been diagnosed with a burned iris and burns in his esophagus and lungs. He has returned to work and is trying to work approximately four to six hours per day while recuperating.
“I’m trying the best I can do,” Hamilton said. “I’m just lucky it wasn’t worse than it was. If there would have been a spark or something like that it could have been a lot worse.”
Frank Lewis can be reached at 740-353-3101, Ext. 252, or on Twitter @FrankLewispdt.