VIRGINIA BEACH--A tower worker who was dangling for more than 40 minutes in the air was rescued by fire crews Monday afternoon.
It happened off of Chantry Drive around 4:00 p.m. when fire officials tell us somehow a worker slipped and fell into his safety back-up harness.
Fire Captain Jon Rigolo said, “"He had the right stuff at the right time and it did what it was supposed to do to stop him from taking a fall.”
In other words, the backup harness had loops for his feet so he could stand up and take the pressure and weight off his body to prevent what firefighters call “crush syndrome.”
Master Firefighter Matt Chiaverotti explained what the syndrome is, “'When you're suspended for a long time you can have a buildup of toxins and stuff from hanging in there in your system and not being able to get your circulation system to work properly.”
Fire crews tried to use two ladders to rescue the worker, but the trucks were too short. Eventually, the captain decided to send a rescuer from the top of the tower to get the stranded worker and then lower him some 12-feet below into a bucket truck.
The worker was checked out on the scene and he left on his own.