LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — Firefighters freed a man stuck upside down in a cave off Silver Street on Saturday night.
Fire Chief Charlie Durfee said the local man had slipped on wet rocks at about 9:15 p.m. while checking out a cave behind 96 Silver St. and fell head first into the cave opening. Durfee said the man was attending a birthday party when he and a friend took a walk to look at the caves.
He was stuck there for about two hours while the Western Mass Technical Rescue Team worked to free him.
"He was probably in the hole for about two hours," Durfee said.
More than a dozen local firefighters who serve on the technical rescue team was joined by another dozen from the Lanesborough Volunteer Fire Department on the call.
Durfee said he also received assistance from Dalton Fire Chief Gerald Cahalan and Pittsfield Fire Chief Robert Czerwinski. Durfee added that another one of the partygoers is a paramedic in another town and kept the man calm as they waited for first responders to arrive.
"It was tedious getting to where he was," he said. "It was a great team effort."
Durfee said freeing the man proved to be tricky because rescuers couldn't simply lift him out. But eventually, using a number of ropes, harnesses, and other tools, the man was freed and taken by County Ambulance to Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield. He suffered only a laceration on the back of his head.
"These guys are highly trained in tactical rescues," Durfee said.
There are some 58 caves in Lanesborough and about half of them are located in the Silver Street area. But this the only cave rescue Durfee can remember.
"We've never had a cave rescue in the 37 years I've been on the department," he said.
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