Hanging Around: Man Found Upside Down in Tree
FAIRBANKS — It’s not a headline that you see on a news release all that often:
“Man hanging upside down in tree.”
But that’s indeed what brought a response Wednesday morning by the Fairbanks Fire Department.
Rescue crews found a 53-year-old man hanging upside-down by one leg about 25 to 30 feet up in a tree next to the old Ice Park site on Phillips Field Road. The man, who the news release did not name, was conscious, alert and uninjured.
The department used its 100-foot platform/ladder truck to bring him down, according to the news release.
Assistant Fire Chief Ernie Misewicz said in an email to the News-Miner that the man was probably upside down for 10 to 15 minutes before rescue crews arrived and an additional 10 minutes during the rescue.
Misewicz said the man said he climbed the tree because “it was something he wanted to do” and that it was for exercise.
The man told rescue workers that he climbed the tree wearing foot spikes and a belly belt, like those used by linemen climbing power poles. He said he had climbed the tree and decided to lean back to rest.
That’s when his world turned topsy-turvy.
As he readied for his respite, he reached for a branch to reposition himself but lost his grip and fell backward. The belly belt slipped below his waist, and he then went all the way over.
And there he hung.
“He had a cellphone on a lanyard around his neck and called his buddy who called 911,” the news release said. “It was suggested that when he does this in future he not do it alone... have a buddy with him.
“He picked up his gear once medics checked him and walked back to his car. Everyone then went home.”
Contact Fairbanks Daily News-Miner managing editor Rod Boyce at 907-459-7585.