HALLANDALE BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Fire rescue officials described how a team effort led to the rescue of two construction workers who found themselves dangling in midair after their scaffolding collapsed in Hallandale Beach.
7SkyForce hovered above first responders as they scaled a 23-story high-rise to save the workers who were suspended from the Hemispheres Condominium at 1950 S. Ocean Drive.
Saturday evening, Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue officials detailed how they pulled off the daring rescue.
Officials said the construction workers fell from a scaffolding when their equipment gave way, Wednesday afternoon.
Frantic 911 calls poured in as the pair dangled from the building’s seventh floor.
“Scaffolding broke, and there’s someone hanging from the scaffolding,” said a caller.
First responders arrived within two minutes of those calls.
The county’s technical rescue team crew made its way to the roof.
BSFR Technical Rescue Team Capt. Brendan Branagan quickly laid out the plan.
“The way that the scaffold had collapsed, it had pretty much encompassed the first victim, and the second one, we didn’t want to manipulate that victim on the scaffold for the sake that, if we move it around, there’s a possibility of further collapse,” he said.
7SkyForce captured a rescuer rappelling the side of the building.
“The first victim was fully suspended in his harness, basically had nothing to hang onto,” said Branagan.
“I don’t know if he’s hanging from his shoulders or what! That poor man,” said a 911 caller.
BSFR Capt. Kristen Sargent was among the first to arrive at the scene.
“The first victim was definitely uncomfortable and anxious,” she said.
Sargent was seen maneuvering a worker through the risky rescue, all the while telling him it’s going to be all right.
“I just assured them that we had rescue teams coming and that we were doing the best that we could and that we were going to get them down as safely as possible,” she said. “Once we got the first victim down, and we had the scaffolding secured, then we were able to get the second victim down with the aerial.”
The process took a little over an hour.
“We have to make sure that we take our time with rescues like this to make sure that everybody gets down safe,” said Sargent.
They did. The team hauled both men to safety.
Paramedics transported both construction workers to the hospital, nicked and bruised, but alive.
“This isn’t something that we normally run on, but we definitely train for it, and we had a great outcome considering what it could have been,” said Sargent.
The construction workers have since been released from the hospital.
BSFR officials said they could not have rescued these men without the other members on their team.
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