Surrey firefighers and RCMP officers watch as a woman remains perched on a tree in Guildford on Saturday afternoon.

Woman takes to Surrey tree

Firefighters, police spend hours trying to coax woman down from cedar in Guildford.

Surrey firefighters and police spent four hours on Saturday afternoon trying to coax a distraught woman from a cedar tree in a Guildford neighbourhood.

Firefighters with specialized high-angle rescue equipment were called by neighbours just before noon to rescue what was described as a man stuck in a tree at the corner of 154 Street and 98 Avenue.

When they arrived with a ladder truck, and after probing through the thick branches, they determined that their subject was a shaven-headed woman who refused to come down.

She was about 30 metres up the tree.

Several times throughout the afternoon, the woman descended and reascended, often yelling and hurling expletives her would-be rescuers.

“I can live in this tree if I want,” she shouted at one point, when about five storeys high.

Extra resources were brought in, including the RCMP’s Car 67 mental health intervention unit and the Emergency Response Team (ERT, photos at left and below), who used the fire department’s ladder to near the top of the tree.

After one ERT member descended from the ladder’s basket by rope among the branches, it took another hour of negotiations before the woman was taken into custody at about 4 p.m.

The 24-year-old, a Surrey resident, was taken to Surrey Memorial Hospital under the Mental Health Act.

She has not been charged with a crime.

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