BOULDER CREEK — A tree worker working to clear branches was killed Wednesday while working on Bear Creek Road.
The Boulder Creek Fire Department responded with two engines to the scene shortly after noon to an area between Little Bear Lane and Mayfair Road for reports of a man in his 40s in need of assistance. The man was not responsive to firefighters calling up to him, Boulder Creek Fire Chief Mark Bingham said.
“Due to the unique circumstances of the tree, the very steep ground and the hanging over the river, we didn’t have a safe way of accessing (him) through our traditional ground ladders or rope that the fire department carries for day-to-day -day rescues,” Bingham said.
Santa Cruz Fire Department was called to provide a ladder truck, while Cal Fire’s CZU unit provided staffing for a rope rescue system to remove the man from the tree. Unfortunately, Bingham said, the worker appeared to have died from an injury related to the work he was doing in the tree. The man’s identity and cause of death were not immediately available Wednesday from the Santa Cruz County Coroner’s Office.
In preparation for a possible rescue, Ben Lomond Fire set up a landing zone while American Medical Response ambulance and a Lifeflight Air Medical Services helicopter were on standby, Bingham said. The California Highway Patrol assisted with temporary Bear Creek Road closures during the rescue efforts.