Firefighters credited with saving bleeding man's life

SMITHTON, Pa. — Some local firefighters are being credited with saving a young man's life.

The man showed up at the Smithton Volunteer Fire Department on Wednesday, according to a post on the station's Facebook page.

Joe Travato, a station officer with Smithton Volunteer Fire Department had the bay doors open Wednesday evening when a truck pulled up, yelling for help.

"The young man came in the building holding his wrist, and ran back to the radio room, Joe was sitting back there, bleeding pretty bad and looking for somebody to help," said Chief Joel Ribniscky with the Smithton Fire Department. "Rather than do anything else, he ran right back and blow the fire whistle, the manual whistle on the building which got all the firemen here in the area."


The man was injured while working on a home on Fourth Street when a window severed several arteries in his arm, causing him to lose so much blood it was hard to stop.

While waiting for paramedics, firefighters were able to control the bleeding with a makeshift tourniquet and direct pressure.

"Mark lifted that gauze and I seen this blood running out, at that time I took my belt off to use as a tourniquet and put it around his arm to slow the bleeding," Ribniscky said. "He was losing a lot of blood there. I know the hospital said he lost five units of blood and that's quite a bit, so I think we did the right job. I don't know what would've happened, he was losing a lot of blood."

The man was taken to a trauma center by ambulance.