Crews rescue tree trimmer stuck in tall palm tree in Rancho Bernardo

Crews work to rescue man stuck in tree
Posted at 9:35 AM, Jul 27, 2017

RANCHO BERNARDO, Calif. (KGTV) - A tree trimmer stuck at the top of a tall palm tree in Rancho Bernardo was rescued by firefighters Thursday morning.

Fire officials received reports shortly before 9 a.m. of a 55-year-old man stuck at the top of the tree at a home in the 17000 block of Bernardo Oaks Drive.

Crews summoned a scissor lift to the scene because the ladders on hand were too short to reach the man.

"It's amazing how many people, how many trucks have come by, they're all working hard to get him safe," said Nancy Amon, a neighbor who witnessed the rescue. "I just hope he's ok, I worry about him being trapped up there, hard to breathe."

After removing several fronds, firefighters were able to remove the man from the tree and loaded him onto the lift at about 9:50 a.m.

The unidentified man was taken to the hospital via ambulance and suffered minor injuries.

Fire officials say the accident happened because the worker was cutting corners on the job. They say he was improperly roped, starting from below the fronds and working his way up. They say it's a faster method but extremely dangerous. The fronds can start to build up rather than fall down, potentially crushing the worker and suffocating them.

The California Contractors State License Board (CSLB) says these incidents happen far too often and are preventable. They recommend consumers hire companies that hold a C-61/-49 Tree Service license and are certified by recognized arborist organizations.