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Tampa Fire Rescue crews rescue crane operator high above downtown construction site (w/video)

Tampa Fire Rescue crews used a basket stretcher to lower a crane operator from the top of this crane Tuesday after he suffered a medical episode.
Tampa Fire Rescue crews used a basket stretcher to lower a crane operator from the top of this crane Tuesday after he suffered a medical episode.
Published May 11, 2017

TAMPA — Emergency crews rescued a crane operator Wednesday morning after he suffered a medical episode high above a downtown construction site.

The rescue unfolded about 10 stories above the 1100 block of Twiggs Street about 9:30 a.m. after the operator couldn't get down himself, said Tampa Fire Rescue Capt. Brian Eichholz.

Crews lowered the crane operator to the ground in a stretcher basket about 10:15 and an ambulance rushed him to a local hospital. Authorities did not release the man's name or the type of medical episode. His condition was not immediately available.

Firefighter Roland Alfonso, a member of the department's Tactical Response Team, dangled next to the basket on the way down. The man was calm, Alfonso told reporters afterward, and gave him a thumbs up.

Alfonso, 30, said he focused on the patient "and not down below."

"We train for this and it felt good to actually go and do it and everything come out great," he said.

Contact Tony Marrero at tmarrero@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3374. Follow @tmarrerotimes.