Rescued: stroke victim stuck in duplex

2008-11-23 00:00

An emergency rescue operation was conducted on Friday evening to extricate an elderly Northdale man, who is estimated to weigh between 200 and 250 kg, from his home when he required urgent medical treatment.

Police Inspector Jack Haskins of the SAPS search and rescue unit said he was called out after Netcare 911 paramedics realised they could not get the man down the narrow stairwell of his home on a stretcher after he had suffered a stroke on the first floor of his duplex.

Paramedics stabilised the man while arrangements were made to get him out of the house.

Haskins said that when he realised there was no anchor point to use to lower the man from the balcony, he called the fire department and asked it to send its big fire tender.

“We extended the cage up to the balcony and I connected a sling underneath it. With a series of ropes and pulleys we rigged up a system to use to lower the man down safely in a stretcher.”

Haskins said it took 45 minutes to get the man on to the ground and into the ambulance. “While we were lowering the man to the ground, the many onlookers who had gathered to watch the rescue were dead quiet, but as he reached the ground they cheered and clapped.”

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