Tulsa Fire Department Rescues Worker From Top Of Cell Phone Tower

Friday, August 30th 2013, 2:40 pm
By: News On 6

A man latched to a cell phone tower, 10-stories off the ground, is knocked out by a falling antenna.  That led to a tricky rescue Friday afternoon by the Tulsa Fire Department. 

Justin Mayfield told News On 6, off camera that he was hit in the head with more than 200 pounds of force.  He says if it wasn't for the helmet that he was wearing, he wouldn't be alive.

"My heart's beating really fast, and all I want to see is them get him down," said Toni Pendergrass, Mayfield's mother.

She watched anxiously with her family, as Tulsa firefighters worked to bring her 23-year-old son safety to the ground. 

"When I found out I called his phone.  He told me he was OK, it's just his neck was hurting his head was hurting," said Toni Pendergrass. 

Mayfield told us he just doing normal maintenance on the tower when an antenna gave way. He showed us his helmet, which was left with only scratches after absorbing the blow.   

"I lost track of time up there to be honest," said Ryan Kifer.

Mayfield's co-worker, Ryan Kifer says luckily both men were safely harnessed to the tower when the accident happened.  He immediately stabilized his co-worker's neck, and stayed atop the 100 foot metal tower as the temperatures crept towards triple digits. 

"I'm not going to leave his side," said Ryan Kifer.  "We were just small talking just like normal, except he couldn't move his head because I had to hold it half the time." 

Firefighters worked for just over an hour, having to make room in the lift for the stretcher. 

"I have nothing but praise for these Tulsa fire guys, I thank God this happened in the middle of a big city," said Ryan Kifer. 

"We were right at 100 feet maybe a little bit over," said Tulsa Fire Captain Stan May. 

May says had Mayfield been any higher up, they would have needed to send up climbing crews. 

"They train for this particular scenario 3 or 4 times a year," said Captain Stan May. 

Mayfield was eventually lowered to the ground in a neck brace, meet by this family and the safety of sure footing. 

"My heart fell, yeah it did, but he's a trooper, he's tough and he loves to climb, so he'll be back up there before you know it," said Toni Pendergrass. 

Mayfield was released from the hospital Friday afternoon within few hours of being injured. He says he only has a mild concussion, and it won't be long before he's climbing again. 

 Mayfield and Kifer said they both work for Towers Unlimited.