FD: ‘High-risk rescue’ frees trapped tree worker in Fairfield
FAIRFIELD — A “high-risk rescue” that took about an hour freed a tree worker whose leg was pinned by a fallen limb Saturday afternoon, the fire department said.
The tree company was working on Beacon View Drive around 2 p.m. Saturday when a branch suddenly dropped as one of the workers was removing a large limb from an adjacent tree, the fire department said.
The worker’s leg was pinned between the fallen limb and the tree, the fire department said.
A second worker climbed the tree to help his co-worker, but was unable to reach the injured man.
Fairfield firefighters said the worker was trapped in a high, difficult-to-reach location complicated by branches other debris blocking access for rescuers.
The worker who attempted to rescue the man was plucked from the tree by Fairfield firefighters, who called the Bridgeport Fire Department to assist, due to the height of the tree and difficulty reaching the injured man.
Fairfield firefighters used chainsaws to clear branches and access the tree, according to Assistant Fire Chief George Gomola. Once the base of the tree was cleared, they used portable ground ladders to gain access to the victim.
Fairfield firefighters Frank Zwierlein and Rich Bassett, who had recently attended a tree rescue class, constructed a special haul system they used to lift the heavy branch that trapped the man’s leg, secured a rescue harness to the man and belayed him to the ground.
“This was not our typical rescue,” Gomola said of the hourlong process. “This was a low-frequency, high-risk rescue complicated by the height of the victim in the tree, the size of the branch trapping his leg, and the limited access afforded to rescuers. The specialty training that our firefighters had received prior to this incident paid huge dividends in safety and efficiency.”
The worker was taken to St. Vincent’s Medical Center, where his condition was not immediately known.