At the end of the day, August 3, three workers for American Tower had suffered through a long, hot 100 degree shift on a tower in Burleson, Texas, but only two made it down.
Suffering from heat exhaustion, the third tower climber took off his harness and collapsed on a platform about 760 feet from the ground and passed out.
“He had just gotten really overheated and he was possibly delirious,” Chief Gary Wisdom told AGL Bulletin.
At 7:45 p.m., 911 dispatchers received a call that a man was passed out while working on a cell tower. The Burleson Fire Department responded with its technical rescue team, and the first Burleson firefighter was able to reach the worker within an hour of the call.
Two more firefighters made the climb with the rescue equipment. It took them two hours to get to the victim because they were carrying 1,200 feet of rope. The fourth firefighter was staged below to assist in bringing the worker down from the tower.
Fire crews had to string their own ropes to attempt a belay-type rescue, but even they suffered severe cramps in the arms and legs caused by the heat and the vertical climb.