Palm Coast Fire Department and Flagler County Fire Rescue performed a dramatic rescue Wednesday afternoon at the City's main water tower, where a contractor working for the City of Palm Coast's Utility Department became ill while on top of the tower.
The employee of contractor Utility Services, a company based in Perry, Georgia, was transported by ambulance to Florida Hospital Flagler for treatment. He was conscious. The company identified the employee as Chris Young of Georgia.
Young and two co-workers were doing maintenance on the mixer in the bowl of the 150-foot water tower, which is located near the Lowe's off Interstate 95 near the Palm Coast Parkway interchange. Young became ill, and his co-workers called 911. The first Palm Coast engine company arrived at 2:11 p.m.
Several units from both Palm Coast Fire and Flagler County Fire Rescue responded, with firefighters trained in high-angle rescue taking the lead. Eight firefighters went up into the inside of the water tower, with a crew providing medical treatment and hydration while other firefighters began the rescue operation.
Once it was safe, firefighters began the operation to carry Young down using a rescue harness. It took about 30 minutes to bring him down via a narrow ladder through the confined space of the inside of the water tower. He was safely down to the base of the water tower by 4:42 p.m. and immediately transported to the hospital.
Crews responding included Palm Coast Fire Engines 21 and 25, Battalions 20 and 23, Ops 21 and Technical Rescue 2, and Flagler County Fire Rescue Engine 92, the Light Technical Rescue Team, Rescues 92 and 21, Battalion 93, Chief 1 and Chief 3.
It was in the high 90s in Palm Coast on Wednesday afternoon, and firefighters said with the summer heat it is easy to experience a heat-related emergency such as heat exhaustion or even heat stroke. To stay safe in this heat:
Monitor your time outdoors, keeping in mind the high temperatures
Avoid going into attics or other confined spaces where temperatures are high
If you get light-headed or feel fatigue or lethargy, immediately get into the air conditioning and hydrate. If you don't improve quickly, seek medical attention.