Gervis Myron Irvin, Jr., saved Donald R. Mancini from suffocation, Lafayette, Alabama, May 14, 1970. While painting the inside of a water storage tank which had only a two-foot opening in the top, Mancini, tank painter, 20, was overcome by the fumes. Calls of two other workmen atop the tank attracted Irvin, 20, college student He climbed to the top of the tank and then, by means of a fixed inside ladder, descended 30 feet to its bottom, where he found the air oppressive. A rope secured to the top of the ladder was tied around Mancini, and Irvin then put the inert man’s arms over his own shoulders. Holding Mancini between himself and the ladder, Irvin began climbing slowly. He boosted Mancini one rung at a time. As they neared the better air at the tank opening, Mancini began to revive and started squirming. At Irvin’s request, men atop the tank held the rope taut to restrict Mancini’s movements. Irvin reached the top of the ladder and climbed out after others had lifted Mancini through the opening. Irvin was nauseated; but both he and Mancini recovered from effects of the fumes.
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