Orange County firefighters Tuesday rescued a worker who wound up dangling seven stories in the air by a safety harness outside the federal immigration building in Santa Ana.
The 48-year-old man, who was repairing concrete on the side of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement building on Santa Ana Boulevard at Parton Street, was lowering himself down the side of the building, along with a co-worker, when his safety line got stuck at the seventh floor, said Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Tony Bommarito. The other worker got down safely.
Firefighters sent to the scene at 7:53 a.m. called for four technical rescue trucks and initially considered breaking a window on the seventh floor, but decided the shattering glass might injure the worker, Bommarito said.
Crews went to the roof of the building and lowered a firefighter down to help free the trapped worker, whose name was not released. Firefighters on the roof then lowered both down by 8:51 a.m., the captain said.
“This is what we call a high-risk, low frequency incident,” Bommarito said. “They don’t happen very often.”
The worker was uninjured and declined a trip to a hospital, he said.
The man is an employee of Western Waterproofing in Orange, said Frank Polizzi of Cal OSHA, which is investigating the incident.