Unconscious tech’s condition is unknown after a three-hour rescue in sweltering high 90 degree temperatures

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator


A tower technician in Navasota, TX became unconscious while working on a 300-foot guyed tower, pictured above, when temperatures were peaking at 98 degrees Fahrenheit, according to Weather Underground. The severity of his condition is unknown and could be serious since the rescue took almost three hours in sweltering high 90-degree conditions.

While performing maintenance on a 300-foot guyed tower in Navasota, TX, yesterday afternoon, a tower tech was overcome by heat stress and had to be rescued in a coordinated effort by multiple agencies.

According to a City of Navasota press release, the Navasota Fire Department (NFD) responded to the Mid-South Synergy facilities off of  Highway 6 North around 4:39 p.m. when a caller reported a co-worker on a 300-foot guyed tower was suffering from a possible heat-related illness. NFD requested assistance from Bryan Fire Department’s Technical Rescue Team.

Upon arrival, Navasota firefighters and Navasota police spoke with the tower crew leader, who said two employees, both third-party contractors from Brazos Electric Cooperative, were on the tower, and one was in and out of consciousness.

A Navasota firefighter ascended the tower and reached the two technicians, one of them unconscious.

Bryan Fire arrived and assumed rescue operations. The crew member was lowered to the ground using a rope rescue system and was transferred to St. Joseph EMS for treatment.

He was then transported by Air Med 12 to a local hospital. The other technician on the tower was uninjured and descended from the structure without assistance.

The rescue was a joint effort with multiple agencies, including NFD, NPD, Bryan Fire Department, and Bryan Fire Marshal’s Office, providing drone operations, St. Joseph EMS, and PHI Air Med 12.

The technician’s condition is unknown. Wireless Estimator contacted Brazos Electric Cooperative but did not get a reply.

When the tech became unconscious, the temperature was about 98 degrees Fahrenheit, and during the almost three-hour rescue, it remained in the mid-90s, according to Weather Underground.

Wireless Estimator will update the technician’s condition when additional information becomes available.

Trade associations and unions this week have been cautioning workers to take precautions while working during the nation’s recent extremely high temperatures.

NATE: The Communications Infrastructure Contractors Association suggests using protective and preventative measures to avoid heat stress. For tower crews who are responsible for climbing, NATE suggests wearing light-colored cotton clothing, climbing slower, and instituting more frequent climbing breaks, and climbing with partners to ensure climbers can monitor each other for signs of heat stress.

“NATE also recommends drinking 5-7 ounces of water every 15 minutes regardless of whether one feels thirsty. If possible, NATE also recommends that tower technicians complete more strenuous climbs and tower work during cooler times of the day. The most challenging jobs should be spread out over longer times that allow tower crews to set a safe work pace,” the association said in response to a heat stress rule that is being proposed by OSHA.

Heat stroke is the most serious heat-related illness. It occurs when the body can no longer control its temperature; the body’s temperature rises rapidly, the sweating mechanism fails, and the body is unable to cool down. When heat stroke occurs, the body temperature can rise to 106°F or higher within 10 to 15 minutes. Heat stroke can cause permanent disability or death if the person does not receive immediate emergency treatment.