Trapped tree trimmer rescued from palm tree

Posted: Updated:

PHOENIX -- A 30-year-old tree trimmer is in the hospital after he was rescued from a palm tree Thursday morning.

It happened shortly after 9 a.m. near 19th and Sweetwater avenues in Phoenix.

The man reportedly was trimming the palm tree when he somehow became trapped about 30 feet up.

Firefighters were able to extricate the man from the tree. The victim was taken by ground ambulance to a local hospital.

Details about his injuries were not immediately available.

Emergency crews are called to similar situations throughout the Valley several times each year.

Last April, a skirt of dead palm fronds suffocated a landscaper who was working at a Mesa home. The man died before emergency crews could get to him.

Palm tree rescues can be extremely dangerous not just for the victim, but for firefighters, as well.

The fronds of a palm tree can weigh hundreds of pounds. If the palm fronds shift while a tree trimmer is working, they can pin or even crush him.

Oftentimes, the victim is hidden from view by the palm fronds or skirt of the tree. It's also possible that the trimmer's chainsaw is still running and is in dangerously close proximity to the victim, creating both an injury hazard and a fire hazard.

There's also the inherent danger of the palm frond slipping down the trunk.