JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. (AP/The Blaze) – Who ya’ gonna call when you’ve got two Army paratroopers stuck in trees?
Firefighters from nearby Lacey, responded Thursday with a tall ladder truck. They’re part of the Thurston County Special Operations Rescue Team, which trains for things like tree rescues.
Battalion Chief Steve Crimmins says the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Fire Department brought one paratrooper down before his crew got there. The other was stuck higher in a different tree and Lacey firefighters used their tall ladder for that rescue.
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Crimmins says Lewis-McChord fire personnel reported that the paratroopers were participating in a routine training jump when they encountered wind that blew them into the trees.
“When the wind picked up, it actually blew her into several limbs. So she kind of impacted it sideways,” said Lt. Patrick Harn.
Firefighter Adam Tumblin used a ladder truck to rescue one of the paratroopers, a woman who was stuck 75-feet above the ground.
“Basically, she was suspended from her chute,” Tumblin said. “We were able to shoot the ladder in underneath her and basically just pick her up.”
The paratrooper had been dangling for an hour and was numb, so fire crews played it extra cautious.
“You’re always nervous about getting up there and having them fall out, but she was pretty secured in the actual tree with her parachute tangled,” Harn said.
After safely bringing the woman down, Tumlin admitted it was one of the more unusual rescues he’s been a part of.
“I thought it was nothing but running into burning buildings, but it turns out there is way more to it than that,” he said.
Lewis-McChord spokesman Joe Piek confirms no one was hurt. He adds the base is “just very thankful” to the Thurston County fire crew.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.