A 40-year-old man is in serious condition in hospital with severe hypothermia and a back injury after falling 18 metres off a catwalk of a dam at the Domtar facility Thursday morning.
At 7:15 a.m., a man was clearing ice from the catwalk atop the dam at the Booth Street facility when he slipped and fell onto the ice.
Para-medics on scene said that if he had landed several metres closer to the water, the ice would likely have given way and the man would have been swept away, said paramedic team leader J.P. Trottier.
Using a ladder, basket and a spinal board, firefighters from Ottawa and Gatineau extricated the man.
“We had to be extremely careful,” said Trottier. “The area was just pure ice and there was rushing water nearby. The environment was very dangerous where he fell. That makes the rescue even more complicated.”
• By the time paramedics treated the man, he had been on the ice for at least an hour. Paramedic J.P. Trottier said his hypothermia was so severe that he had stopped shaking from the cold, but he improved later.