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Con Edison Media Relations
Contact: D. Joy Faber
Telephone: (212) 460-4111

For Immediate Release: September 26, 2000


A normal working day in Brooklyn for Con Edison emergency operations personnel Frank Scotto and Bobby Finger turned out to be anything but average. On Thursday, September 21 at about 3 p.m., the pair was summoned to help a pedestrian retrieve a cherished engagement ring that accidentally fell into an underground transformer vault at 62nd Street in Borough Park.

Rouhama Lubits, a special education instructor at the Hebrew Academy For Special Children, lost her ring while walking with several of her students. One of them became startled, reached for her hand, and sent her diamond ring flying into a ten-foot electrical transformer vault filled with muck and debris.

Scotto, age 49 of Albrightsville, Pa., and Finger, age 47 of Borough Park, Brooklyn, were called into action to make the dramatic rescue. Both men are high voltage troubleshooters for Con Edison’s Brooklyn/Queens Operations with more than 50 years of experience on electrical systems between them. The pair lowered themselves into the transformer vault pit and began shoveling debris into a five-gallon bucket. The mud was then lifted onto street level with a makeshift sifting system they designed to speed up the search process.

“We had to take one step at a time, making our way through two separate vaults. It was very tedious,” Scotto explained. “Ironically, we found the ring when we went through the second shovel full, from the second vault that was placed in a second bucket,” he continued.

“We are accustomed to handling more difficult tasks, but this process made us even more determined to find the ring,” said Finger. “This job could have taken up to 16 hours, but we were lucky to be able to find the ring pretty quickly,” he added.

“They stayed for three hours,” Lubits reported to the Daily News. “It’s not too often that you find people like this. I’m grateful.”

Ms. Lubits remained on the scene during the entire ordeal. Scotto said that when they found the ring, Ms. Lubits was ecstatic. “That really made our day!” he said.

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