MIAMI (CBSMiami) — It was a close call for a high-rise painter left dangling by his safety harness from the 9th floor of the Grand Bay Resort in Key Biscayne.
One side of his scaffolding malfunctioned and tilted nearly 90 degrees. The safety rope anchored to the top of the building is the only thing that kept Marco Perdomo from falling roughly 100 feet to his death.
When fire rescue crews arrived, two firefighters were lowered to the 9th floor and slowly Perdomo was secured. The three then eased their way down the side of the building like mountain climbers.
Perdomo said he knew he was in good hands.
“I felt good, honestly. That’s when they started lowering me and I was in the middle,” said Perdomo, who spoke to CBS4 in Spanish. “When I got down, I thought I was going to my house but they took off my harness and put me in the ambulance.”
It was just precaution and Perdomo was soon released.
On Sunday, three days after the ordeal, Perdomo and his family met up with the heroes who risked their own lives to save his.
Miami Fire-Rescue’s Timothy Gleason and Miguel Perez were the one-two-combination that eased the stranded painter off the building to safety.
“It’s a great experience to see him him safe, in regular clothing, and not in the same situation he was in,” said Perez.
Even though they’re highly trained professionals, each real-life situation presents its own set of challenges.
“There’s always that moment where you go, ‘Oh man, how are we gonna do this, what’re we gonna need,'” said Gleason. “But then our training kicks in.”
Wind and Perdomo’s rope, itself, did make things more difficult.
“The wind coming off the ocean, it was probably about 20 knots that day,” said Perez. “And also, the fact that his rope kept on tangling around him, and his safety line was so tight that it was extremely hard to take his safety line off and be able to make a safe rescue going down.”
Now safe and sound, Perdomo is just happy to be on solid ground.
“Thank God for those firefighters,” said Perdomo. “I’m here telling my story.”