Crews rescue man from dangling scaffold in Sarasota

SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A construction worker dangling from the side of a Sarasota building was rescued Monday after the scaffolding he was on malfunctioned.

He was doing stucco work when the left motor kicked on and the worker couldn’t get it to shut off. It tipped the machine and the man hung for more than an hour and a half waiting to be rescued.

Up eleven stories and at least 110 feet in the air, the construction worker patiently waited to be rescued.

“We were in contact with the person on the scaffolding the entire time. He was uninjured, so we were telling him we were bringing resources in to tie to the top of the building making the determination to the best course of action,” said Michael Regnier, Sarasota County Fire Chief.

Figuring out how to get him down wasn’t easy.

“One was to raise him to the top of the roof like we had done a month ago at another building in Sarasota, the other was to take out the window near where the person was stuck,” said Regnier.

The windows are hurricane resistant, so getting the window out would have been another problem.

“We made the determination through the company who is responsible for the building and myself to lower the person down to the ground, which was the safest alternative,” said Regnier.

For more than an hour, people stood and watched anxiously.

“He’s a father, he’s a husband to someone and he works in this heat and they’re up here early in the morning. I am frightened for him. It’s a dangerous job,” said bystander Anne Hurst.

The longer the man dangled, the more people stopped to watch.

“It just looks like a scary situation. I wouldn’t want to be the guy dangling,” said Jeff Luchok.

After much anticipation and a lot of help from the fire department, the man finally started to come down.

“We wanted to make sure everyone remained safe and we were able to be successful today in doing so.”

The man walked away from the rescue and was uninjured.

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