The man was spotted hanging on by safety rope at 34 Civic Center Plaza in the 700 block of W. Santa Ana Boulevard at about 8:30 a.m.
The Orange County Fire Authority said the engine on the worker's scaffolding broke and sent it to the ground. The man was locked in place by his safety harness while waiting for help.
Santa Ana Tech Rescue: Crews setting up ropes and rigging to lower the victim. pic.twitter.com/IsQQy5yikP— OCFA PIO (@OCFA_PIO) October 23, 2018
Technical rescue crews responded to the nine-story building and set up a special rope system on the roof to send a firefighter down to the worker.
Technical Rescue: Rescue in progress. pic.twitter.com/p1nk9PIHa7— OCFA PIO (@OCFA_PIO) October 23, 2018
The crew worked quickly as eyewitnesses watched nervously.
"We just kind of were communicating to him through the window, as well as from over the top on the side, and just kept updating him to our progress, and he remained calm the whole time and our guys could just kind of get to work," said OCFA Battalion Chief Craig Covey.
Technical Rescue: Victim safely lowered down by OCFA rescuers. pic.twitter.com/huGEFU9cy7— OCFA PIO (@OCFA_PIO) October 23, 2018
The rescuer and the man made it to the ground safely shortly before 9 a.m., and paramedics made sure he had no injuries.
Firefighters said everything went exactly how it should in a tense situation like this.
"It's a great day today, right? We got to save a life," Covey said. "He did what he was supposed to do in having his safety backup redundant system, and our guys who train at this all the time were able to go up and effect a rescue - that's what we live for, so it was a great day for us and for him."