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Training pays off for rescue crews at Hood Canal Bridge

SHINE — A 35-year-old Shelton man was taken to Harrison Medical Center, Bremerton, Wednesday morning after falling from a ladder on the Hood Canal Bridge.

He was released from the hospital in the afternoon.

The man's name was not released due to privacy laws. The worker was descending a ladder inside a manhole to get into a cement vault under the bridge when he lost his footing and fell about 15 feet, said Jody Matson, spokeswoman for the Poulsbo Fire Department.

The ladder was about 20 feet tall, she said.

Rescue workers were prepared, Matson said, after completing repeated technical rehearsals before the bridge closed for construction in May.

Rescue crews set up a tripod rigged with rope and a cocoon-type basket containing a stretcher at the end of it near the manhole. Once the man was stabilized by emergency medical personnel , he was placed on the stretcher and pulled out of the manhole, Matson said.

The man was transported by ambulance to Harrison because fog prevented Airlift Northwest from landing. The helicopter was hovering over Salisbury Point Park but could not get clearance to land, Matson said.

Crews from Poulsbo Fire and Rescue, Port Ludlow Fire and Rescue and a rescue team from Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor participated in the rescue.

The man was released from

Hood Canal Bridge opened to vehicle traffic in June after the Washington Department of Transportation rebuilt its eastern span. According to the release, contractor Kiewet General has completed $14 million in work since the bridge reopened in June and will complete another $6 million in work through the autumn months.

More than 100 contract employees are still working on the bridge.

Video courtesy Poulsbo Fire Department.

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