A Florida municipal worker has died after falling critically ill while painting atop a water tower near Interstate 95, authorities said.
Brevard County Fire Rescue
|Brevard County Fire Rescue personnel use a 75-foot aerial ladder to lower a 54-year-old Cocoa utilities worker from a water tank in Viera on Tuesday.|
The victim, 54, collapsed on the 30-foot water tower Tuesday morning and was rescued by Brevard County firefighters while lying unconscious on top of the tank. Co-workers said they had been performing routine maintenance, including painting, on the tower when the man fell ill.
Brevard County Fire Rescue, including members of the department’s Special Operations team, responded to the scene at 10:35 a.m.
Several members of the Special Operations team ascended the tower and began emergency treatment as a 75-foot aerial ladder was positioned for a high-angle rescue. "We were able to get rescuers up on top of the tower quickly, rendering care to the patient immediately," said Lt. Jeff Taylor of Brevard County Fire-Rescue.
As treatment continued, the crew worked to rig a Stokes basket to the end of the ladder and bring the unconscious man to the ground.
The patient, whose name was not released, was transported to Viera Hospital in critical condition and later died, Cocoa city spokeswoman Wendy Widmann told Florida Today.
City: No Comment
The man had worked for the Cocoa utilities department since April 2008 and was based at the Claude H. Dyal Water Treatment Plant in Orange County. Cocoa utilities maintains a regional water system that includes Viera, Port St. John and Cocoa Beach.
Neither officials from the treatment plant, the city of Cocoa, nor the city utilities department responded to requests for more information.
A spokesman for the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration said the agency does not have jurisdiction in the case, because the man worked for the public sector at the local level.