Worker dangling from tower 'really wanted to get home'
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Charlotte firefighters rescued a man working on a cell phone tower who dangled 150 feet in the air until firefighters pulled him to safety.
It happened along the 3300 block of Shamrock Drive just before 5 o clock Thursday.
The fire department said the worker dangled eight feet from the platform, but was held in place by his safety harness.
A co-worker on the ground called 9-1-1.
Firefighter Kevin Wallin, with Rescue 3 Squad was the first to get to the distressed worker.
It s actually my first cell tower that I ve done an extraction of so it is new to us, he said.
Captain Joel Cherry soon followed.
He was very happy we were there to get him, he told me he had two kids at home, or one kid, and one on the way and that he really wanted to get home to them, said Cherry.
Cherry said it took about an hour after receiving the call, to get the worker on the ground.
Although both were cognizant of the high winds, Captain Cherry says the hardest part was climbing the tower itself. He credits the crews on the ground for a successful rescue.
That s why we train, so we can do things like this. We got up there and hooked him up and raised him up. They actually did the work of getting him down, he said.
The rescue comprised of setting up a basic pulley system. They said it was important to hoist him high enough so that worker could help himself over the railing.
The worker suffered minor injuries and had complained of pain caused by the lack of circulation to his legs.
The main thing is we tried to talk to him to try to get his mind off the pain he was feeling because he was suspended there for 40 minutes, so the big thing was talking to him and saying, hey, if you could think of something else, do that, to get the pain off your mind, said Wallin.
The worker flashed a smile while he lay on a stretcher. He flashed a thumbs up and hang-loose sign soon before taken away by ambulance.
Wallin says the rescue was truly a team effort.
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