Don’t Look Down

Burleson firefighters rescue worker from 750-foot cell tower

By Bruce Felps
|  Tuesday, Sep 20, 2011  |  Updated 3:24 PM CDT
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Firefighters Honored for Tower Rescue

City of Burleson

Front L-R: Firefighter Bill Buchanan, Fire Lt. Jeremiah Lozier, Firefighter Matt Moseley, Firefighter Dallas Fowler. Back L-R: Fire Chief Gary Wisdom, Fire Investigator David Butler, Firefighter Jules Knight, Fire Marshal Stacy Singleton, Fire Lt. Steve Burchette, Fire Lt. Claude Scally, and Battalion Fire Chief Tom Foster


by Bruce Felps

Ten Burleson firefighters defined going above and beyond last month during their rescue of an incapacitated worker near the top of a 70-story cellular communications tower in Johnson County.

The day of the rescue, NBC DFW reported that Mike Howard, a contractor for Tower Lighting, cramped up because of the Aug. 4 heat, made it to a platform about 750 feet above the ground, and began to slip in and out of consciousness.

To compound matters, according to the report, Howard took off his safety equipment because he felt claustrophobic.

This was not a good situation, he said, stating the bloody obvious.

An emergency call went out, and the combined forces of the Mid-North Johnson County Volunteer Fire Department and Burleson Fire Department answered.

Dudes freaking climbed the tower carrying rescue and medical equipment to assist the 6 foot, 5 inch Howard.

About six hours and 30 minutes later, Howard was back on terra firma.

Monday, firefighter Bill Buchanan, fire Lt. Jeremiah Lozier, firefighter Matt Moseley, firefighter Dallas Fowler, fire chief Gary Wisdom, fire investigator David Butler, firefighter Jules Knight, fire marshal Stacy Singleton, fire Lt. Steve Burchette, fire Lt. Claude Scally, and battalion fire chief Tom Foster received Burleson’s Medal of Life Saving Award and a Mayoral Commendation.

Those awards just go along with the places in Heaven they secured Aug. 4.

Bruce Felps owns and operates East Dallas Times, an online community news outlet serving the White Rock Lake area. He has a pretty wicked case of acrophobia and this story kind of made him nauseated. 

The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of NBC, NBC 5, or its employees.

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