Tulsa firefighters rescue man from cell tower


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Updated: 8/30/2013 5:22 pm Published: 8/30/2013 4:06 pm


Firefighters rescued a man suspended 100 feet in the air on a cellphone tower.

It happened before 2 o'clock Friday afternoon near 51st and Sheridan.

Firefighters said the man was hit by an object while working and couldn't get down.

Toni Pendergrass watched and prayed as firefighters worked quickly to rescue her 23-year old son, Justin Pendergrass.

"I guess they were putting up some kind of antenna or something and it fell and hit him in the head," Toni Pendergrass.

A co-worker nearby called 911.

Pendergrass told FOX23 she's glad the force from the impact didn't knock him off the tower.

"It did hurt his neck, and it's made him really light-headed, and his stomach is upset," she said.

One of the biggest concerns firefighters had was whether their moving ladder could reach him.

With a co-worker by his side making sure he didn't fall, the ladder slowly began to climb upward.

"He was just at under 100 feet, so we could reach him with our aerial platform," said Stan May, with the Tulsa Fire Department.

A big concern was also the intense heat.

"It's pretty hot up there, and we were afraid that was going to cause some complications. He had a back and neck injury, so we had to keep that from getting worse," he said.

After about an hour, firefighters were able to carefully bring him down, making sure to carefully support his neck and back.

His mom was right there to greet her son and make sure he was alright.

"It's a big relief, and I'm grateful he's down, and I got the thumbs up that he's doing great," she said.

Firefighters train for these types of scenarios, involving high tower rescues, at least two or three times a year.

Justin Pendergrass was taken to St. Francis hospital to be treated for his injuries but should be OK.


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