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Firefighters rescue football coaches stranded 30 feet in air in basket truck

Firefighter Matt Stio assists Coach Tim Kopiske, left,

Firefighter Matt Stio assists Coach Tim Kopiske, left, and Coach Tyler O'Neill onto the ladder from a hydraulic lift at the Half Hollow Hills High School East homecoming game on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015. Credit: Steve Silverman

Dix Hills firefighters rescued two Smithtown East football coaches who were stranded 30 feet in the air Saturday when a basket truck malfunctioned at the Half Hollow Hills High School homecoming game.

Four Dix Hills fire crews removed Smithtown coaches Tyler O'Neill and Tim Kopiske from a hydraulic lift about 4:15 p.m. at the Vanderbilt Parkway school, fire spokesman Steve Silverman said. Dix Hills fire rescue squad members had been standing by for the first game of the season.

About 35 firefighters with a ladder truck and three ambulances went to the school and used a 75-foot ladder truck on the field to save the coaches. Firefighter Matt Stio guided O'Neill down the ladder onto the field. Firefighter Jacquelyn Stio, Matt's sister, then led Kopiske down the ladder, Silverman said.

No one was hurt during the rescue, which took about 15 minutes, the fire department said.

Half Hollow Hills won the game by a score of 27-7.


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