Firefighters free man whose hand got stuck while repairing taxi

Team brought in surgeon to safely extricate mechanic from vehicle

By Tim Swift - Local10.com Digital Editor, Christian De La Rosa - Reporter

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Fort Lauderdale firefighters freed a mechanic Wednesday whose hand got stuck while making repairs to a taxi cab, officials said.

Battalion Chief Stephen Gollan, a spokesman for the Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Department, said the 43-year-old man was trying to repair the car's rear differential, a series of gears that allow for smoother turning.

The man was identified by his girlfriend as Harold Croisil, who has worked as a mechanic for View Auto Repair for about four years.

Gollan said a technical rescue team worked for more than two hours to free Croisil at the repair shop in the 800 block of Northwest 10th Terrace.

Local 10 News reporter Christian De la Rosa, who was at the scene, said Croisil was screaming out in pain as the team worked to free him. Firefighter initially feared that Croisil could lose one of his fingers, but they managed to free him with his fingers intact.

The team brought in a surgeon who numbed the finger and allowed the firefighters to safely extricate it from the gears, Gollan said.

His friends and co-workers were relieved as Croisil was loaded on to ambulance en route to the hospital.

"No mechanic wants their finger to be cut off, 'cause one limb being missing is your career," Wilker Deravil, a friend of Croisil, said.

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