KATY/FORT BEND COUNTY (Covering Katy News) - The Willowfork Fire Department had to execute a high angle rescue Friday afternoon in the Katy area after heat exhaustion made it impossible for a worker to make his way safely down a cell phone tower along Westheimer Parkway near Greenbush Drive. The call came in at 2:38 p.m. The tower is located behind The Hive office suites.
There were two men working on the tower when one of them became ill. The second man attempted to rappel down the tower and rescue his co-worker but was unsuccessful. Fortunately neither man was in danger of falling according to the Willowfork Fire Department.
"Both men were still in their harnesses and safe," said Willowfork Fire Department Battalion Chief Tim Wagers. "There was no chance of them falling and that gave us time to work."
Initially it was not clear if the fire department's aerial truck would be able to get into position to execute a rescue so firefighters asked for technical rescue teams from Houston and Fort Bend County to respond. Before those teams could arrive, the Willowfork aerial truck was able to find a spot that could handle the heavy weight of the truck. Firefighters were then able to maneuver the truck close enough to the tower to successfully reach the injured man. His partner was able to repel down the tower safely.
Willowfork Fire Department captains David Rogers and George Velasquez reached the man and transferred him into the truck's basket.
Fort Bend County EMS was also on the scene and evaluated the man for heat exhaustion.
See photos above.