Expert tree trimmers prepare workers for possible emergencies that can turn deadly

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — As summer approaches, tree care may be at the top of homeowner’s to do list. 

“Right now, summer is coming along; it’s palm season, a lot of people want to have their palm trees trimmed,” said Stephen Quintana, assistant safety coordinator of First Choice Tree Service. 

But it’s also one of the most dangerous jobs, so local companies are working together to train their workers in the field, while also warning others to be careful.

On Thursday, around 100 rescue workers from across the country attended Aerial Rescue Training at Sunset Park.

“Everybody’s gotta be able to look up in a tree and notice the hazards that might be,” said Tony Valenti, Ceo of First Choice Tree Service.  “Our tree department is the most hazardous and dangerous, so we have one-hour training sessions, safety classes, every Thursday morning and every job site we do a pre-safety walk around.”

As a tree trimmer, an emergency could happen at any time. The North Las Vegas Fire Department posted photos Wednesday showing a man trapped in a palm tree 20-feet up.  Firefighters were able to rescue him.

But, that’s not always the case. In 2015, a tree trimmer died near Pecos and Tonopah. The man became trapped under the immense weight of the leaves and suffocated.

“Putting together an event like this is really special,” Quintana said. “Safety is our number one priority with the company and training and of course to bring value to our customers you need to have both.”

There were 92 fatal tree care incidents reported across the nation in 2016.
The youngest recorded victim was only 18 years old.

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