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Injured man rescued from tower at  Mt. Sugarloaf

SOUTH DEERFIELD — An injured man on the observation deck of the Mount Sugarloaf tower was lowered to safety in the middle of the night Wednesday, with mutual aid assistance from the Greenfield and Turners Falls fire departments.

The departments sent their high angle rescue experts.

South Deerfield Deputy Fire Chief Dennis Patterson said the incident was first reported around 11:45 p.m. Tuesday night.

The High Angle Rescue Service was called in to bring its technical rescue trailer, which includes high-angle pullies, cables and rescue equipment. The firefighters who provide this service have special training for rescueing injured people from high ledges and other inaccessible places.

According to Patterson, the rescuers set up a cable system within the stairwell of the spiral staircase. Because the injured man couldn’t walk, he was placed into a harness and Stokes rescue basket, and lowered down the stairwell by cable and pulley. A Stokes rescue basket is a type of stretcher that can be used in confined spaces. It is often used in outdoor rescues. The overall rescue operation took about two hours, according to Greenfield Fire Chief Robert Strahan.

Patterson said the injured man was transported to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield.

It was not immediately clear what the man, whom fire authorities would not identify, was doing on the tower at that hour or how he hurt himself. It was unclear if other people were present or who called authorities.

Fire officials referred inquiries to the Deerfield police chief, who was unavailable for comment Wednesday.

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