December 24, 2012 in City

Fire crews rescue cell tower worker

By The Spokesman-Review
Jesse Tinsley photoBuy this photo

A cell tower worker, right, balances on the end of a fire department ladder Sunday afternoon after he slipped off the tower platform and his fellow worker, left, held on to part of the safety rigging as the man dangled until the fire department could put up the ladder. A technical rescue firefighter brought the man down safely.
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A cell tower worker slipped on Sunday afternoon from a platform more than 100 feet in the air and was dangling by a part of his safety harness before he was rescued by Spokane firefighters.

The accident occurred at 2 p.m. while two workers were atop the tower. Their names were not given. No injuries were reported. The second worker held on to the man’s safety harness while awaiting the rescue.

A ladder truck from Station 1 at Riverside Avenue and Browne Street raced to the scene on the north side of the Eagles Ice-A-Rena in the 6300 block of North Addison Street.

Firefighters raised their 110-foot ladder and pushed it up to the feet of the man, who was in danger of falling from the harness around his waist because he had come free of his upper harness.

“He was only partway in” his safety gear, Battalion Chief Joel Fielder said.

Fielder estimated the man was dangling 105 feet above the ground, and said the fire ladder was fully extended.

The man propped himself on the ladder while a high-angle rescue technician from Station 4 at 1515 W. First Ave. used the ladder to put the man in a fire department harness and brought him down.

“We are all very fortunate here, especially that cellphone worker,” Fielder said.

The men left the scene quickly, avoiding news media interviews. There was no identity given for their company.

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