On the evening of Saturday, December 4, scaffolding broke at the Hemisphere Condominium in Hallandale Beach, Florida, leaving two construction workers dangling by their safety harnesses and entangled in scaffolding debris.
“The way that the scaffold had collapsed, it had pretty much encompassed the first victim,” said Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue (BSFR) Team Captain Brendan Branagan, “and the second one, we didn’t want to manipulate that victim on the scaffold for the sake that, if we move it around, there’s a possibility of further collapse.”
BSFR Captain Kristen Sargent first reached the workers by scaling down from the roof.
“I just assured them that we had rescue teams coming and that we were doing the best that we could and that we were going to get them down as safely as possible,” she said. “Once we got the first victim down, and we had the scaffolding secured, then we were able to get the second victim down with the aerial.”
The rescue took a little over an hour. Paramedics transported both workers to the hospital, where medical personnel treated them for nicks and bruises.
“This isn’t something that we normally run on, but we definitely train for it, and we had a great outcome considering what it could have been,” said Sargent.
Investigators hope to discover the reason for the scaffolding’s collapse.