Fire EMS, Firefighter Training, Firefighting

Stairway to Heaven: Tower Rescue

Issue 9 and Volume 166.

BY RAUL A. ANGULO AND JEREMIAH LOZIER AUGUST 3, 2011, WAS THE HOTTEST DAY OF THE month in the greater Fort Worth, Texas, area with daily temperatures well above 100°F. According to the National Weather Service–Fort Worth-Alliance station, the high temperature for August 3 was 112°F-ultimately the highest of the year! The highs in the surrounding areas ranged from 109°F to 112°F and were still above 100°F that Wednesday night. Most Texans usually stay indoors with air-conditioning, but for 25-year-old Mike Howard and his colleagues, it was just another day at the office. Their “office” that day was an 800-foot triangular communications tower in Johnson County. The professional tower climbers started climbing the tower about 9:00 a.m. to perform routine maintenance and change out some communication equipment. They were all supposed to come down at about 5:00 p.m., but constant exposure to the record heat would take its toll on…

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