Ham Rescued from atop Ham Radio Antenna

Murphy’s Law .=. If anything can go wrong, it will. …Layne AE1N

An 80-year-old Edgartown man was rescued Monday morning [March 12, 2018] by the Edgartown Fire Department from a ham radio tower in his yard.

William Welch, an electrician and avid amateur radio operator, got his sneaker caught atop a 20-foot-tall backyard antenna after he scaled the structure to secure it ahead of the impending nor’easter, his wife Betty told The Times. Firefighters were dispatched at around 10:45 am to 7 Welch’s Way for a report of a man trapped on a tower.

Among the first of his department on scene, Fire Chief Alex Schaeffer climbed the tower — an antenna — to assist Welch, who held on just below the apex.

Edgartown’s ladder truck arrived shortly after Schaeffer, but firefighters couldn’t position the ladder beneath Welch because a pitch pine was in the way. Instead, the ladder was telescoped parallel to Welch and Chief Schaeffer.

Firefighters moved back and forth over the ladder and put a helmet on Welch and fitted him with a harness. The harness was fastened to the tower, so Welch couldn’t fall. Chief Schaeffer then climbed down, collected gear, and was subsequently hoisted aloft by the ladder on a rope. After being positioned adjacent to Welch, Chief Schaeffer linked a harness he wore to Welch’s with carabiners. Firefighters then hoisted the two over the pitch pine and safely to the ground, where a group of firefighters and EMTs awaited.

Welch was taken into an Oak Bluffs ambulance for observation and released, his wife said. His pride is a little bruised, his wife said, but nothing else. “He’s doing wonderful. He just had a big lunch,” she said midday Monday. The mishap was a fluke, she said. Welch has climbed all his life. He turned 80 in October, but feels 20 years younger, she said.

source: https://www.mvtimes.com/2018/03/12/man-rescued-atop-ham-radio-antenna/

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One thought on “Ham Rescued from atop Ham Radio Antenna”

  1. Thanks Layne,

    If he had a harness it is very possible with a his hands free he could have dealt with the stuck sneaker and finished his antenna work. Now he has a XYL that is telling him no more climbing and a couple of large bills to pay for fire and ambulance services that probably are not covered by insurance and it could have been worst. The poor judgement started with no helmet.

    The fact he is 80 is not the story.

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