A firefighter rescued a woman who was stuck for hours on the pulley of a crane towering about 12 storeys over Wellesley Street in downtown Toronto early this morning.The woman, estimated to be in her 20s, was later charged with mischief after firefighter Rob Wonfor helped lower her safely to the ground of a parkette.The rescue took 2½ hours, in an operation that began around 6 a.m. ET — more than two hours after emergency crews first received a call about a woman on the crane.Police closed Wellesley Street between Church and Yonge streets to aid in the rescue of the woman. There was no immediate timeline for reopening the street.An ambulance was waiting beside the crane while the firefighter rappelled her to the ground. However, police officers put her in handcuffs right away before leading her on foot to the ambulance.The woman, who was dressed in jeans, a button-down shirt and a light denim jacket, was placed on a stretcher and covered with a blanket.CBC Toronto's Lauren Pelley reported from the scene that the woman has been charged.Wonfor, an acting captain and 22-year veteran of the Toronto Fire Service, was also checked by paramedics, who spent time raising his core temperature and ensuring his vital signs were strong, Chief Matthew Pegg said. Wonfor later told reporters it "was pretty cold up there," but he had to stay focused on getting through the operation.The hardest part was the climb up the crane carrying multiple cables, he noted. He also said he was "very tired.""I have no idea how she did it," Wonfor said of the woman, adding her boots appeared to have two-inch heels."She has to tell me how she did it because she has to be our new training officer for high-angle [rescue] because it's impressive," he said. "It was hard enough for me to go up with ropes and harnesses and she free-climbed that."While he has performed many rescue operations over his career, Wonfor said this one was the most dramatic. He noted the woman was "very calm" when he got to her, and that helped him remain calm. Asked whether he would take the rest of the day off, Wonfor said he had to go play goalie in a firefighters' hockey tournament.'Slow, tedious climb'Wonfor and a Toronto police emergency task force officer made what platoon Chief Kevin Shaw described as "a slow, tedious" climb inside the crane to reach the woman, who seemed to have climbed the crane and then slid down a cable onto the pulley.The first rescue plan called for a crane operator to rotate it and then lower the pulley to the ground. However, once that got started, the firefighter on the pulley identified a safety concern and that plan was stopped.Pegg called Wonfor a "highly skilled, highly trained" rescuer, and praised the entire team for safely executing a "very complex rescue.""We train for this, and our crews certainly train for this, although we've never seen one quite like this before," Pegg told reporters. "There isn't a textbook, but I think they just wrote it."Police and firefighters were speaking to the woman via a loudspeaker throughout the morning, but they could not hear her because she was more than 30 metres in the air.Police and fire crews said they did not know why the woman was on the crane. Her name hasn't yet been released.An image from the scene earlier Wednesday morning showed the woman sitting on the pulley attached to the crane, and tightly gripping a cable.Shaw said he was "very surprised" that a civilian "had the nerve" to climb the crane and slide down the cable without gloves."Obviously she shouldn't be there," he said.
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