Valdosta firefighters rescue man injured four stories up - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Valdosta firefighters rescue man injured four stories up

November 2, 2007

Valdosta - Using a huge crane, Valdosta firefighters rescued a construction worker immobilized with injuries almost 60 feet above the ground.

It happened at the work sight of the new Lowndes County Judicial Complex where investigators say a worker had fallen from the scaffolding high above the fifth floor onto the hard cement of the fourth. 

"The patient was responsive but he was complaining primarily of back and neck injuries fairly common with a fall and we have to anticipate that there is more wrong with him than that," says Ken Gallagher with the Valdosta Fire Department.

With those types of injuries, performing a high angle rescue was the only way to safely get him to the ground without injuring him any further. 

And they utilized many tools on sight to speed up the rescue process.  "We could not get our ladder on sight because of construction so we utilized one of the construction cranes," says Fire Chief J. D. Rice.

Rescuers secured the man to a stretcher and strapped him in tight.  Then using the help of the crane the stretcher and a firefighter were lowered over 50 feet to the ground below, where an ambulance was waiting.

The firefighters had trained for a rescue like this but until today had never actually performed one.  "Luckily our training that we've been doing has come through for us and everybody knew what to do and we had the proper equipment and luckily the patient wasn't hurt worse than he was," Gallagher adds.

The rescue, they say, went off without a hitch.  "Training these guys and learning the techniques if high angle rescue paid off.  It was text book and I'm extremely proud of the folks at the Valdosta Fire Department," Chief Rice says.

Workers with Pinnacle Prime say the man was released from the hospital Friday afternoon.

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