There are few places better to set up shop for people in the window-washing business than New York City. There’s plenty of glass on plenty of high-rises and it’s not unusual to see people hanging off the sides of buildings, cleaning those windows.
But on Monday, two people working on a 34-story building in the Brookfield Place complex got a shock when their scaffolding dislodged and left them dangling.
“At approximately 9:10 this morning, calls came into 911 for a hanging scaffold,” they wrote. “The first Fire Department unit arrived on the scene approximately four and a half minutes later to find an off-level hanging scaffold with two workers attached to it.”
“FDNY Engine 10 and Ladder 10 arrived first on scene, where they quickly assessed the individuals for injuries, and secured them with rope.”
FDNY Deputy Assistant Chief Michael Ajello explained how they assessed the scene and moved forward with the extraction.
“We secured the workers, provided a communication link to them, and then we cut the windows to remove them into the building,” he said. “Both were examined by EMS and both refused further medical attention.”
Lt. John Tobin with Rescue 1 praised his men for their skill.
“The first two companies did a phenomenal job getting rope on them to secure them,” he explained. “We checked the scaffold to make sure that it wouldn’t move any further, and then Rescue 1 proceeded to secure the windows by taping them.”
“We have glass-cutting equipment where we can remove the panels of glass, and we were able to pull those two scaffold workers in right where they were.”
“All the companies worked excellent together, this was a coordinated effort. This is something we train for all the time.”
The FDNY shared photos of the equipment — an alpha wet saw and an angle grinder — that they used to cut the glass where the men were hanging in order to bring them inside to safety.
Though Tobin referred to the rescue as “a pretty straightforward operation,” it was no doubt an unforgettable day for the two men on the job.
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