Cellphone tower worker frozen stiff 200 feet up in the air -- Gazette.Net


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A man working 200 feet high on a cellphone tower in the 16800 block of Oakmont Avenue was rescued Wednesday after becoming hypothermic in the day’s frigid temperatures.

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue officers were dispatched around 12:17 p.m. for a reported “high angle technical rescue,” according to Fire and Rescue spokeswoman Beth Anne Nesselt.

The man said that he was trapped 200 feet up at the top of a cellphone tower, suffering from hypothermia, Nesselt said.

“A man called to say he was trapped, unable to self rescue,” she said.

“Weather conditions played a huge role in that situation,” she said, adding that with the wind chill, the temperature was 11 degrees.

Nesselt said that Montgomery County fire officials requested personnel from their technical rescue team, which makes rescues from confined spaces or high angle rescues.

“They were harnessed and ready to go up and assist,” she said of the rescue team.

However, another coworker who was working on the tower below the victim was able to reach him and secure him to a guide line, and rappel with him down the tower, she said.

He was then treated and transported to a local hospital with serious, non-life-threatening injuries, she said.

sjbsmith@gazette.net