Crews rescue climber trapped on Hickory Twp. cliffs - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Crews rescue climber trapped on Hickory Twp. cliffs

Posted: Updated:
HICKORY Twp., Pa. -

Firefighters and emergency crews worked in dangerous conditions Sunday evening to rescue a man who became trapped on a rock face in Hickory Township. 

New Castle Police officers were called out just after 7 p.m. to a cliff near an area known as El Rio Beach for calls that a man who had been climbing a rock face was stuck. 

According to fire officials, when crews got on scene they found that the man had become tangled in climbing equipment and could neither climb up or come down. 

Crews say the man almost fell several times but was eventually able to get to a small ledge and wait for firefighters. 

When those firefighters got on scene, however, they realized they would not be able to rescue the man from the ground.

Officials say crews had to access a business near the top of the rock face and rappel down to the climber. 

Marco Bulisco, a New Castle firefighter, says that's when he climbed down, more than 200 feet, to get to the man. 

But firefighters say Mother Nature did not make the task easy- the rock face, a combination of shale and slate, was very slick. In addition, recent rains had worked to loosen rocks, making it harder to find footholds. 

"We were approximately 40 feet above the ground and the victim was on a very narrow space stuck inside the rockface," said Bulisco. 

"I was just trying to keep him calm," continued Bulisco. "We just had some short discussions about his family and his kids. I told him, you know, not to worry and we were in control of the situation and we were going to get him down." 

Firefighters were able to pull Bulisco and the climber off the rocks and to safety. 

For the New Castle Fire Department, firefighters said that a rescue like this was is all in a day's work. 

"We're here to rescue. We're here for the citizens of New Castle. We're here for anybody who needs us. We're here to come when you call," said Bulisco.

The climber was checked out by paramedics at the scene but is expected to be ok. 

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