Two Fluvanna County men rescued from 40 feet in the air

Contributed by Judy Fish

Two local men were rescued on Wednesday (April 19) by firefighters when the lift they were using to repair a chimney malfunctioned, trapping them some 40 feet in the air.      

The Fork Union Fire Company, Palmyra Fire Company, Lake Monticello Fire Department and Scottsville Fire Department were dispatched just after 2 p.m. Wednesday to the 3000 block of Hardware Road for a technical rescue, according to Lake Monticello Fire Chief Richie Constantino. 

The chief said that when crews arrived at the scene, they discovered that the Sunbelt Sky Lift had malfunctioned and was unable to move, trapping the two men inside the lift bucket. He said they were trapped for less than an hour before their rescue. 

“When Tower Ladder 53 from the Lake Monticello Fire Department arrived at the location, personnel found it difficult to navigate the truck through a narrow, hilly, and winding gravel driveway approximately a quarter mile off of Hardware Road,” Constantino said. 

“It was challenging to gain access to the trapped people because the driveway was treacherous and trees were blocking the sky lift,” the chief said, adding that fire personnel had to cut and remove several large tree limbs to “gain unfettered access to the sky lift.” 

He said once the driveway was navigated and the tree limbs were removed, “the rescue itself was straight forward.” He said there were no injuries. 

Chief Constantino said the ladder truck is used often for “all high angle situations, elevated fires and any other situations where ground ladders are ineffective.” 

In addition to the four area fire departments that responded, an ambulance from Albemarle County Fire/Rescue was on standby at the scene, the chief said. 

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