Two technicians, who were conducting maintenance on a 300-foot cell tower, on Dec. 20, had to be rescued on a sub-freezing day in Plymouth, Minn., according to Richard Kline, fire chief, Plymouth Fire Department.
The climbers, who had been working for six hours, were on a platform at 100 feet when one climber lowered himself a few feet below the platform to hook up an antenna. Apparently because of fatigue and the cold, the climber was not able to pull himself back on to the platform, leaving him hanging by his harness and the crew stranded for several hours on a winter’s night with the temperature hovering around 15 degrees and winds gusting to 15 mph, according to Assistant Fire Chief Darrell Todd, Edina, Minn.
The Plymouth Fire Department responded to the scene and called in a team equipped to handle high angle rescues, which was supported by crews from four other municipalities.
“The possibility of hypothermia and circulatory problems was upmost in our minds in getting them to the ground safely,” Kline said.
Using their own rope system, the rescue team lowered the men to the basket of a fire department aerial tower. Two hours later the men were safely on the ground and headed to the hospital for treatment.