At 11:40 this morning, firefighters responded to a report of two window washers stuck on a window washing platform near the top of a building. Firefighters arrived to find the two male window washers on a platform around the 35th floor of the Downtown Seattle Sheraton. Both men were conscious and alert.
Seattle Fire Department’s Technical Rescue Team went to the roof the building and used a mechanical rope system with ropes, pulleys and rescue harnesses to belay down over the edge of the roof where they could communicate with the window washers. Both men were uninjured.
Firefighters first secured the electrical supply to the platform in order to safely work around it. A firefighter in a rescue harness was then lowered over the edge of the building down to the platform. After the firefighter secured the first window washer into a rescue harness, the firefighters above raised the firefighter and window washer up to safety. Another firefighter was then lowered down to rescue the second window washer. The two window washers remained calm throughout the entire rescue, which took about one hour.
Seattle Fire Department’s Technical Rescue Team is trained in high angle rope rescues, as well as other high risk rescues. More information about the Technical Rescue Team is available here: http://www.seattle.gov/fire/firefighting/operations/technicalrescue.htm