Crane rescue for spinal injury man

Submitted by West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service
Submitted by West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service

Firefighters used a crane to lift a man with a spinal injury out of a first floor window.

The man was taken to hospital after emergency services were called to Kites Close, West Green, Crawley, at 12.56pm on Wednesday (January 6).

St John Stanley, watch manager for West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service’s Technical Rescue Unit (TRU) in Horley, said: “It showed emergency services working to their very best.

“We had all three emergency services and we all complemented each other.

“It’s always satisfying when that happens.”

Mr Stanley explained how the crane was used to remove the man from his home.

The TRU was called after Crawley firefighters and paramedics arrived at the scene.

Mr Stanley said: “They realised that because of the severity and the fact that the gent was on a first floor, they were going to have to think of a complicated plan to take a stretcher out horizontally and obviously that would mean it was not going to be the stairs.”

The unit arrived in a specialist ‘UNIMOG’ vehicle equipped with a 12.5m hydraulic crane which they had used in the Shoreham airshow disaster.

Mr Stanley said: “Crawley fire crew - I’ve got to say did an amazing job.

“Just as I was getting there they managed to get the front window off.

“It was a large plane of glass - they removed it very cleanly - I don’t know how they managed that.”

Some 40 minutes later a ‘complex rope system’ saw the man lifted out of the first floor window and taken to hospital.

The TRU dealt with such incidents regularly.

Mr Stanley said it had practised the procedure only a week before.