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A man was rescued by the Ithaca Fire Department early Saturday morning from the gorge above the Ithaca Falls.

Tompkins County Dispatch received a call around 12:30 a.m. Saturday from Cornell PD stating that a man was in the gorge below the Stewart Ave bridge, above the Ithaca Falls. The Ithaca Fire Department and Bangs Ambulance were sent to the scene.

Firefighters donned water rescue gear and entered the gorge off of Willard Way, by using a 24 foot ladder to climb down. They then walked up through the old water sluice for the Ithaca Gun Factory and crossed the moving water above the falls to the injured man. It is unclear at this time, as to how the man got there. Cornell PD is investigating the events leading up to the rescue.

The gorge floor was pitch black, and lights from a Ladder Truck were set up off of the bridge to illuminate the area where firefighters were working. The injured man was placed in a stokes rescue basket and was carried across the water by rescuers.

Firefighters then rigged a rope system to haul him up the ladder and out to waiting Bangs Ambulance personnel. The Cayuga Heights FD set up a Landing Zone at Jessup Field on the Cornell Campus for Life Net, who then flew the college aged man to Upstate Medical Center.

Off duty Ithaca firefighters were called in as well as the Cayuga Heights, Trumansburg and Newfield Fire Departments to cover other emergency calls while the original crews were handling the extraction. The entire rescue took approximately two hours.

The condition of the injured man is unknown at this time and Cornell PD is investigating.

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Jolene Almendarez

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.