A Newburgh firefighter became an ad hoc surgeon Friday, called upon to use a pneumatic saw to cut a piece of steel pipe off a 73-year-old man's penis.
Firefighters were dispatched to the Newburgh campus of St. Luke's Cornwall Hospital shortly after 9 p.m. for a public service call, Assistant Chief Scott Mandoske said. Hospital personnel asked them for tools to cut off a ring. The fire department has a ring cutter used to clip wedding bands from swollen fingers, but firefighters learned that wouldn't be enough. The pipe was an inch long, an inch in diameter and made of quarter-inch-thick steel.
Authorities said the pipe was apparently an erotic aid, but did not elaborate.
Medical personnel weren't able to perform typical medical procedures, such as forcing blood from one side of the penis to the other in order to pull the pipe off. The man's penis had swollen and turned purple.
Mandoske said firefighters chose a "wizzer saw" for the job. The wizzer saw is an automotive tool, powered with air bottles and adopted by emergency responders who frequently deal with car crashes. Firefighters use it more commonly to saw off mufflers.
This was to be a more delicate operation.
"Just don't cut it off," the senior citizen reportedly said.
For more than 90 minutes, the firefighter sawed bit by bit into the pipe, pausing occasionally to cool the saw. The time duration was critical, Mandoske said. Hospital staff worried the man could lose his penis if blood circulation was cut off too long.
The wizzer saw emptied the first bottle of air and then a second. Finally, after five air bottles, the saw clipped through the final bit of pipe, and they were able to free the man. He was apparently unharmed by the operation, Mandoske said, although the assistant chief didn't press for details.
Wow, I hope I don't become that dirty of an old man. And what an aptly named pneumatic device that wizzer saw is....heh.