A man who climbed up onto a billboard platform in East Palo Alto ended up stuck there and was rescued by firefighters using a makeshift crane on Tuesday, according to the Menlo Park Fire Protection District.
Police first called fire crews around 11:30 a.m. and requested they bring a ladder to the sign at 1895. E. Bayshore Road at Pulgas Avenue, according to a news release issued Thursday. When they arrived at the intersection, they found a man in his 30s hanging from the billboard's catwalk, about 25 feet above ground.
He told firefighters he had been throwing items from the platform in an attempt to "get someone's attention" and help. Two firefighters and a police officer climbed a ladder to the catwalk to get to the man, who said he felt thirsty, weak and dizzy and wanted to come down, according to the news release.
After determining the man would not be able to climb down himself, crews set up a fire truck equipped with a 108-foot ladder, with a metal liter basket hanging from rescue ropes.
The man was medically evaluated by firefighters before he was strapped down to the liter basket, and a truck operator brought him down into an empty parking spot, according to the fire district.
The rescue took nearly an hour, and the man was then taken away by ambulance to a hospital for further evaluation.
Fire Chief Harold Schapelhouman said in the news release that aerial ladders are sometimes used as makeshift cranes in "unique circumstances." They've been used to bring down people or animals from trees, creek beds, bridges, rooftops or open basements at construction sites.
The billboard was advertising Weedmaps, an Irvine-based company that provides technology and software for the cannabis industry.
"Someone suggested that the wording on the billboard may have been what made him climb up there," Schapelhouman said. "Who knows."
Watch a video of the rescue provided by the Menlo Park Fire Protection District here.