Worker stranded on hydraulic bucket 30 feet above the ground helped by firefighters

SUBURBAN WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A leaking hydraulic bucket stranded a Palm Beach County Traffic Department employee about 30 feet above the ground on busy Southern Boulevard in suburban West Palm Beach Monday afternoon.

The man had been changing the sign on the street bar when the hydraulic mechanism on the bucket truck began to leak, said Capt. Albert Borroto, spokesman for Palm Beach County Fire Rescue.

The worker had been waving at passersby hoping that someone would notice his predicament. But no one did. That is, until firefighters on Engine 58, on their way to training, "saw the worker waving at them from the bucket and pointing down,' Borroto said.

"It was very fortunate that our units were passing by at the right time as the worker could have been injured if struck by a motorist on southern with all the traffic in that area," Borroto said.

The rescuers noticed hydraulic fluid shooting out of the truck. The fluid had spilled all over the roadway and, although it didn't represent a danger to the environment, it sure made the road slick, Borroto said.

Wasting no time, Engine 58 called for assistance from firefighters from Platform 29. The firefighters stopped the fluid leak and quickly elevated a crew to assist the worker by transferring him to their bucket and then to safety on firm ground, Borroto said.

The worker, who was not identified, made it home in time for supper, and the firefighters made it to their training, he said.

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