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The “Pop” that Provoked the Rescue 

MHS Media Journalist Faye Bouck tells the dramatic and heroic story of a rescue made by her dad, a local fire chief.
Copy of award from the Chicago Fire Department provided by Chief Bouck
Copy of award from the Chicago Fire Department provided by Chief Bouck

On August 2, 2021, Engine 15/Truck 59 received a call that would change their perspective on caution in factories and their appetite. 

The day started out like any other day until the house received a call from the 911 operator saying, “Person trapped in machinery.” Not thinking much of it, having seen it all, the firemen on call made their way to the Skinny Pop factory at 2800 West Columbus in Chicago. 

Once there they discovered an unconscious man in his thirties impaled by a one-inch thick steel corkscrew-like rod called an auger. The auger went completely through the man’s chest, sticking out four feet on both sides of him. The man, being suspended 20 feet above the floor by the auger, gave them a real challenge to figure out how to get him down. 

“It looked like it was out of a movie. I wasn’t scared, it was just very surreal. It was like I was watching a movie, not like I was really there, but those kinds of things just come with the job,” said Chief Steven Bouck.

Captain at the time, Bouck ordered his team to climb the stairway and extend ladders to get to the man. Once there they tied a harness to him to uphold his body weight as the paramedics at the scene took his vitals, checked for impaled lungs, and started an I.V. 

After the man was stable for the time being the firemen turned off all the machinery and began to cut the auger and its metal tubing around it, leaving 6 inches out on both sides. Once removed the man was put on a stretcher, and laid on his side in order to keep the auger in place. 

The paramedics immediately transported the man to Advocate Christ Hospital trauma center. Once there, the firemen from the scene assisted the EMS (emergency medical service) in the ongoing rescue.

They discovered the victim had gotten his clothing caught while trying to repair a cap which had fallen off the auger. Luckily for the victim, his clothing was pulled through his torso acting as gauze, preventing any excess bleeding. The auger had also missed all of his vital organs. 

The man only needed a three-hour surgery that was successful. A nurse had informed Bouck a few days later that the auger was backed out of the man, being spun out of him the way it came in with no extra damage being done. 

Days after the man was released from the hospital, the members of the firehouses involved were invited back to the Skinny Pop factory to get an update and a hearty “thank you” from the Skinny Pop staff.  The men involved in the rescue were given an award for the rescue by the Chicago Fire Department. 

As a bonus, they were also surprised with bags of Skinny Pop  as a souvenir.

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Faye Bouck
Faye Bouck, Journalism and Media 2 Writer
My name is Faye Bouck and I am a sophomore here at Marist. I play lacrosse for Marist and cheer for Mount Carmel. When I am at home I love to go for walks with my dog and watch One Tree Hill. My favorite thing to do when I am bored is go out with my friends or go to Swallow Cliff!
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