Firefighters called to perform technical rescue in downtown Vancouver

Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services were called on to conduct a high-angle rope rescue in the Coal Harbour area on Saturday.

Firefighters say the man fell between 12 and 15 feet into a recessed area adjacent to a tower on the southeast corner of Cordova and Burrard Streets.

The man, who firefighters say appeared to be homeless, suffered a concussion, and crews had to lift him out using a stretcher.

“From what we hear, there’s a tree that’s broken down into that area, apparently they climb down there all the time and sleep under the cover,” said Battalion Chief Dave Rosenmund.

“He fell and hit his face, he had quite a nasty gash on the top of his head. He was unconscious for a little bit and then he became conscious and was disoriented, and I guess he called out and somebody got ahold of us.”

Rosenmund said the VFRS deployed its technical rescue team, whose task was complicated by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Crews applied a mask to the patient before lifting him out and transferring him to waiting paramedics.

“With COVID-19 there’s not much we can do about a call like this, the members have to work in close unison to extricate the patient,” he said.

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