Firefighters in Waterloo rescued a man who was injured while working inside the bowl of a water tower Wednesday. Waterloo Fire Chief Doug Carter says a recent training session on above ground rescues paid off. "A high-angle, rope-rescue training scenario is what we did two weeks ago," Carter said.
"So, it was fresh in our minds." The real incident Wednesday afternoon involved a worker who fell off a platform while sandblasting the interior of the water tower. Firefighters climbed the tower and entered through a two-foot wide manhole. Carter says the rescue workers stabilized the victim before removing him to the tower’s cat walk.
Then, the victim was lowered nearly 140-feet to the ground. Carter says the entire rescue operation took about 40 minutes. "Obviously, during training, it’s more about doing everything right and taking as much time as necessary," Carter said. "In a real situation, where you have an injured person – to make sure that their condition doesn’t deteriorate – you want to do it as safely, but as quickly as possible. We’re very pleased with the time that it took."
The injured worker was transported to a Waterloo hospital. His name and condition were not released. The company that’s contracted to work on the water tower is based in Lincoln, Nebraska (J.R. Stelzer Company).