Public Works bucket truck used to reach man

A man who suffered an injury while 40 feet in the air was rescued with the help of the city’s Public Works Department.

Woodstock Fire/Rescue District crews were dispatched to 13215 Hickory Lane in Woodstock around 1:25 p.m. Sept. 6 to assist a man who suffered a chainsaw injury while cutting down a tree.

Firefighters reach the top of a tree on Hickory Lane to rescue a man who injured himself with a chainsaw Sept. 6. Photo: Alex Vucha/WFRD

According to WFRD Captain Brendan Parker, the man was working with two other men who were doing landscaping services on the property. He climbed up the tree and, while using a chainsaw, injured his leg and was unable to climb back down. The homeowner was not there at the time of the incident, Parker said.

The fire district’s ladder truck was out of service for maintenance when the call came in, so WFRD requested assistance from the city’s Public Works Department.

“They responded very quickly,”  Parker said.

Crews assessed the man from the ground with binoculars and by talking to him, Parker said.

WFRD also requested assistance from the McHenry Township Fire District as a backup option to the Public Works truck, since the ladders on fire trucks usually extend at least 100 feet, and it was unknown if the bucket truck would reach the man.

The bucket extended to 40 feet, just enough for rescuers to reach the man, who was gripping the tree while he waited to be rescued. Though he could not bear weight on the injured leg, the man was in a harness and had spiked boots, allowing him to maintain his grip and possibly contributed to keeping him conscious, according to Parker.

“Being in that harness almost acted like a tourniquet,” Parker said, due to the pressure applied from the harness that helped to control bleeding.

Because it was not clear initially how severe his injury was, Flight for Life was called. The man, who never lost consciousness, was transported via helicopter to a local hospital with non life-threatening injuries.

Crews from the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office also assisted on scene.

“Public Works was a great help. It is nice to have that resource right here in town,” Parker said.

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