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Firefighters rescue man stranded on boom 80 feet in the air in Lawrence

The boom was turned back over to its owner to investigate why it malfunctioned.


Firefighters rescued a man who was stuck around 80 feet in the air on a boom in Lawrence Thursday afternoon, fire officials said. The worker, who was an outside contractor, was not injured, officials said. Lawrence firefighters were called to the Verizon building at 2 Hampshire St. at 12:32 p.m. for a report of a man stuck in a boom against the building, said Lawrence Fire Deputy Chief Kevin Loughlin in a phone interview.

Loughlin said the worker, whose identity was not immediately available, was about 80 feet in the air on the boom making an outside repair when the machine became stuck. Loughlin explained that a boom is “a mechanical device that goes up in the air,” similar to a lift. The boom can be controlled both by the worker and from the ground, Loughlin said, but the machine malfunctioned and the controls stopped working.

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The worker was already “tied off of the boom” as a safety precaution, Loughlin said. He said he talked to the worker on the phone and told him to stay strapped in. Fire crews “methodically” raised a tower ladder up to the boom and safely put the worker into the bucket, Loughlin said. Without a ladder, he explained, there is no other way to get someone down from a stuck boom. The rescue took about 20 minutes, Loughlin said. He did not know what contractor or construction company the worker was affiliated with.

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