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Paramedics rescue flip-flop-wearing man from steep hillside

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By Margaret Harding
Friday, Aug. 29, 2014, 2:00 p.m.

Pittsburgh paramedics rescued a man Friday who tried to take a shortcut to the Monongahela River and got stuck on a hillside near the Homestead Grays Bridge, a city EMS official said.

The man called 911 at about 11:40 a.m. when he found himself trapped about 100 feet down the steep, wooded hillside on the north side of the river, unable to go down or back up, Acting Rescue Division Chief James Holman said.

“We couldn't see him through the canopy, but we were able to hear him,” Holman said.

Paramedics used a system of ropes and pulleys to rappel to the man, then secured him in a harness and helped him the remaining 60 to 70 feet to the bottom of the hillside, Holman said. The man, who wore flip-flops for his journey, had cuts on his feet but no serious injuries, Holman said.

Authorities halted train traffic on nearby railroad tracks as a precaution during the rescue, which took about an hour, Holman said.

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