WATCH: Tucson fire crews rescue man trapped in palm tree

Palm tree rescue (Source: Tucson Fire Fighters/Instagram)
Palm tree rescue (Source: Tucson Fire Fighters/Instagram)
Published: Apr. 18, 2018 at 10:13 PM MST|Updated: Apr. 19, 2018 at 5:41 AM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Less than a week after training in those risky situations, Tucson firefighters had to save a man from a tall palm tree after he had become stuck.

Firefighters with the Tucson Fire Department first got the call around 7 a.m. Wednesday, April 18, near Harrison Road and 29th Street.

Two firefighters climbed the fire truck's ladder to find the man stuck among thousands of pounds of palm fronds, said Captain Andy Skaggs of the Tucson Fire Department.

Skaggs captured the video of the daring rescue and posted it to the Tucson Fire Department's social media pages. The footage shows the tree trimmer, a man in his 40s, falling as firefighters cut away the fronds. His body bent backwards as he was being supported by Tucson Fire Department cables.

The man was able to pull himself back upright and safely make it down the TFD ladder about 30 minutes after the initial call to firefighters.

Skaggs said the tree trimmer works by himself in the area, and had the necessary equipment, but told firefighters he "made a mistake" and "put himself in that scenario."

He explained the man was able to walk away safely from the incident and was back working on the same tree later Wednesday afternoon.

A ladder crew, two fire engines, and paramedic staff all assisted in the rescue.

Rescue crews had both taught and trained in palm tree rescues just last week, on Thursday, April 12, and Friday, April 13. Skaggs said they are, "always learning how to be more efficient for the next time."

He explained that in year's past, they might have used a chainsaw to remove people stuck among the palm fronds. But Skaggs said it has been ruled out as a good technique because of the risk of injuring the victim further with the chainsaw blades.

TFD is not identifying the tree trimmer, saying he has declined interview requests.

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