Woman rescued through window

THE historic heart of a Suffolk market town was brought to a halt yesterday as firefighters carried out a spectacular rescue to carry an ill woman from the first floor window of her home.

THE historic heart of a Suffolk market town was brought to a halt yesterday as firefighters carried out a spectacular rescue to carry an ill woman from the first floor window of her home.

The narrow streets in the medieval core of Bury St Edmunds were filled with flashing blue lights as ambulance crews rushed to Whiting Street at around 9.30am.

However, it quickly emrged the patient was suffering from low blood pressure and sitting her up could have caused a heart attack.

It was decided she must remain level for as long as possible so the unusual decision was taken to remove her through the bedroom window using a turntable ladder.


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A small group of bystanders watched on as firefighters then manoeuvred the ladder carefully towards the property, before gently guiding the woman from the window in a bucket stretcher and lowering her to waiting ambulance crews. She was taken to the West Suffolk Hospital in Bury for treatment.

Sub officer Bruce Moye, who is based at Bury, said: “One of the primary jobs of the ladder is to carry out rescues. But this is certainly not an everyday occurrence, and shows again the turntable ladder is a worthwhile piece of equipment to have in the town.

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“The next nearest would have been at headquarters in Ipswich, so this was invaluable for the speed of getting the lady down. She was medically unstable and needed to come out and it was fairly time critical.

“Obviously all the medical staff, including paramedics and nurses, were here, so she was well cared for as she was extricated from the window.

“There are very narrow stairs in the house, and taking her down vertically was not an option. But she seemed no worse for the ordeal.”

Contractors working in the street helped emergency services by closing the road and redirecting traffic, while homeowners living around the woman's property were asked to move their cars to allow easier access for fire crews.

“You don't often see anything like that, but thank goodness she got down safely and they could get her out,” said one bystander. “The ladder looked like it was at such an angle you wondered how they would ever get her down.”

A spokesman for the East Anglian Ambulance NHS Trust confirmed crews had been called at around 9.20am.

“She came out of the window because she had very low blood pressure,” he said. “They would have had to sit her up in a chair to get down the stairs, and that could have prompted a cardiac arrest.

“She had to remain as level as possible for as long as possible, which is why we called the fire service.”

No further details on the woman's condition were available last night.

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