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Firefighter recovering after rock-climbing fall in Chatsworth

April 17, 2012 | 10:25 am

A Burbank firefighter who fell about 25 to 35 feet while rock climbing remains hospitalized, officials said.

An equipment malfunction apparently caused the fall late Monday morning in Chatsworth.

Battalion Chief Steve Briggs said he and other firefighters and family members have been visiting with the 32-year-old injured firefighter, who was off duty at the time of the accident. His identity has not been disclosed.

The firefighter was rock climbing at Stony Point and lowering himself down from a rock face to the ground when his equipment malfunctioned and he experienced a "controlled fall," Briggs told the Burbank Leader.

"We're not investigating, we're trying to help him get an idea of what happened," Briggs said. "He didn't free-fall, he had a controlled fall along the rock face and struck the ground pretty hard. He wasn't unconscious at any point."

The 4½-year department veteran had his cellphone with him and made his own 911 call, Briggs said.

Los Angeles city firefighters responded to Stony Point, a popular rock-climbing area, and had to airlift the firefighter because it's "a remote area and it would have been difficult to hike him up," Briggs said, adding that Burbank firefighters do that in the Verdugo Mountains because of the terrain there.

The firefighter was admitted to the Mission Hills Hospital trauma center and [the hospital] "ran a whole bunch of tests," Briggs said.

"He got some pretty good scrapes, cuts and bruises," Briggs added.

He anticipated that the firefighter would probably spend a couple more days in the hospital to recover, recuperate and get the test results back.

The firefighter's wife, parents, brother and sister were with him in the hospital, along with L.A. and Burbank firefighters, Briggs said.

"He's been awake and talking the whole time," Briggs said, adding that "it's a real tight brotherhood and sisterhood, and anytime one of our own get hurt, it's amazing how many people show up."


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