Vincent P. Briselli, 39, millwright, died as the result of helping to save Ronald A. Caruso, 28, water treatment operator, from suffocation, Bridgeville, Pennsylvania, June 27, 1966. Caruso entered a well 16 feet deep at a water treatment plant and descended a ladder to a plank supported by angle irons a foot above water six feet deep. He was overcome by carbon monoxide entering the well from an air compressor. Briselli looked into the manhole, told Ranide V. Berton that Caruso seemed to have been overcome, and then descended the ladder to the plank. Berton telephoned for aid and followed Briselli. They attempted to lift Caruso but were unable to do so because his leg was caught. They called to Earl A. Rorer, Sr., saying that Caruso had been overcome and that they needed help to get him out. Rorer descended to the plank. Briselli grasped one of the angle irons, lowered himself into the water to his chest, and freed Caruso’s leg. Berton and Rorer drew Caruso onto the plank. Briselli then said that he was too weak to climb out of the water. Berton and Rorer obtained holds on Briselli and with much exertion lifted him onto the plank. By then Briselli had lost consciousness, and Rorer and Berton were feeling the effects of the carbon monoxide. The plant safety director arrived and ordered Berton and Rorer out of the well. Each barely was able to climb the ladder and had to be assisted through the manhole. Workmen with rescue equipment removed Caruso and Briselli from the well. Caruso was revived and recovered fully, but Briselli succumbed the following day.
48959 – 514948959-5149