Benton Fire Chief Goes Above and Beyond in cell phone tower rescue

Benton Fire Chief Shane Cockrum makes contact with a person who has climbed to the top of a cell tower. (William McPherson – Benton Gazette Photo)

BENTON – Thursday, Feb. 22, at 2:03 p.m. the Benton Fire Department received notice of an adult male who was climbing atop a cell-tower near a local health clinic.

Benton Fire Chief Shane Cockrum said dispatch received the call from employees at the clinic, noting that an employee noticed someone had climbed up and over the barbwire fence. At the time the Benton Police Department arrived on the scene, the individual had made it halfway up the estimated 140-foot tower and had indicated his intent was to take his own life.

Benton’s 805 ladder truck is 105-feet tall, Cockrum said, which left the Fire Chief approximately 30-35 feet below the man he was attempting to save. Cockrum ascended the ladder and began a nearly three hour life-saving conversation.

If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts or depression, please call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

Please click on the link below from William McPherson of the Benton Gazette.

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