108-Foot-High Rescue From Cell Tower

108-Foot-High Rescue From Cell Tower
January 23, 2013, 10:05 pm
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A worker was rescued from the bird's nest of a 108-foot-tall cell phone tower in Gaithersburg around midday Wednesday.

The worker, Isaac Dupree, ended up trapped on the top level of the tower after becoming dehydrated and too cold in Wednesday's frigid weather, which caused him to develop leg cramps, reports News4's Pat Collins.

It happened around 12:15 p.m. in the 16770 block of Oakmont Avenue, where crews were working to convert an exsiting cell phone tower to support 4G service.

Dupree called 911 himself, but a coworker was able to scale the tower, secure him into a guide line and rappel down from the tower with him.

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue and a cave-in collapse team had arrived on the scene by the time they reached the ground. Dupree was taken to Shady Grove Adventist Hospital for evaluation.

Pole climbers carry rescue bags equipped with ropes, harnesses and other items, Collins reports.

Dupree has been a pole climber for about six months. Collins reports that although workers are prohibited from climbing towers in strong winds, they can decide for themselves whether to climb in extreme temperatures.

With the wind chill factored in, Montgomery County Fire and Rescue said the temperature felt like 11 degrees on the ground at the time of the rescue. It would have been colder where Dupree was working.

It's currently unknown how long Dupree was up on the tower, which is owned by Pinnacle Wireless, a New Jersey-based company that builds and maintains cell phone towers nationwide.

Stay with NBCWashington.com and News4 for more.



Photo Credit: Chopper 4