Who knows what was going through the imagination of 4-year-old Eli, as he and his 2-year-old brother Max played in the back of the family's pick up truck in front of their North Portland home Tuesday. Eli was playing the part of Star Wars' Qui-Gon Jinn, master to Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi, who was played that day by 2-year-old Max.
At some point during their play, 4-year-old Qui-Gon - I mean Eli - got his arm stuck in the right rear stake-hole pocket of the truck. Then, his finger became lodged in the drainage hole located at the bottom of the stake-hole pocket. Eli's mom and the mailman, who was nearby delivering mail, tried everything they could think of to get the finger out. However, when it became apparent that the finger wouldn't budge, they called 9-1-1.
Firefighters from Station 24 responded and continued to try and remove the finger utilizing ice, soap, and heavy lubricants. Slowly and carefully, one firefighter would pull on his arm, while another tried to wiggle the finger out. Little Eli would let them know when he needed a break. When this didn't work, Station 1's Heavy Rescue Squad was dispatched with the tools needed to extricate Eli.
Firefighters from Heavy Rescue Squad 1 and Engine 24 used a die grinder to make precise cuts around Eli's arm and then finger, literally cutting a piece of metal out of the side of the pick-up. With his light saber in one hand, and a piece of metal wrapped around the finger on his other hand, Eli and his mom rode in the ambulance to the hospital. Meanwhile, on the way to the hospital, young Max remarked to Firefighter Rian, "I'm not going to do that!" and invited the crew over to watch "Snow White".
Once at the hospital, an operation using sophisticated surgical cutting tools removed the remaining piece of metal from Eli's finger. He is now making a full recovery at home. From fighting fires to saving "Jedis-in-training", the firefighters of Portland Fire & Rescue are ready for any type of emergency in their community.
Portland Fire & Rescue
We Respond: Always Ready, Always There
November 18, 2010