STATION SQUARE (KDKA) — Emergency rescuers saved a man from plummeting down to the bottom of Mt. Washington on Friday afternoon. The man slipped along the hillside and was trapped with no safe way down.
Everyone seemed to be holding their breath as that man was lowered to safety.
The EMS Chief told KDKA it was one of the most challenging rescues they have ever done. Partly because of the difficulty of the rescue itself and also because of the weather.
With a sheer cliff face of Mt. Washington below them, Pittsburgh emergency responders slowly and carefully lowered a man to safety.
“They were able to place him into a Stokes basket, latch him in and lower him down with some ropes,” said Pittsburgh EMS District Chief Mark Larkin.
The 911 call came in at 2:45 p.m. Friday. The man was trapped about 50 feet from the ground.
“He had slipped and fallen and injured his right arm and his back. Although he was stable, he was cold and wet,” said Chief Larkin.
The man, who is in his 20s, slipped and fell as he was walking along the top of the mountain.
“He was traversing across different parts of the shale cliffs up there. We’re not sure what he was doing, but he was walking laterally down towards South Side,” said Chief Larkin.
The technically difficult rescue became even tougher because of the damp hillside.
“Treacherous terrain up there between the weather, the wetness, the underbrush and the leaves. And just basically the moving of the shale as you put weight on up there,” said Chief Larkin.
The entire rescue took about 90 minutes.
“We were erring more on the side of caution and safety because of the treacherous conditions on the hillside versus trying to rush him down,” said Chief Larkin.
Everyone made it down safely.
“Very strong work again by our department,” said Chief Larkin.
The man who fell is lucky to be alive.
“Cold, wet and just some minor injuries, fortunately,” said Chief Larkin.
The man was taken to UPMC Mercy Hospital to be treated for minor injuries. Chief Larkin told KDKA Friday’s events should serve as a warning not to walk those paths at the top of the mountain.