Firefighters use ladder to rescue woman from her Portsmouth home after fall

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SPECIALIST fire crews removed the window from a house so a woman could be taken to hospital after a fall.

Firefighters used their aerial ladder platform to lift the woman from her bedroom and into a waiting ambulance yesterday afternoon.

They removed the bedroom window of the home, in Stamshaw Road, Portsmouth, to free the patient after a 40-minute rescue operation.

Paramedics had been called to the scene but had difficulty carrying the woman out on a stretcher because of a tight staircase inside.

South Central Ambulance Service then asked the fire service for assistance.

Watch manager Sean Ratcliffe said: ‘We were called out at 11.57am to assist with the ambulance service team who couldn’t lift the patient down the stairs.’

To ensure the woman was safely removed crews cordoned off Weymouth Road, Cardiff Road and sections of Stamshaw Road.

‘We redirected the traffic so we were able to get the woman out of the window,’ said watch manager Ratcliffe.

The crew then directed the woman, who is disabled, onto the level platform so she could be taken to an ambulance to be treated by 

Watch manager Ratcliffe said: ‘The operation took us approximately 40 minutes but only 10 minutes to get the woman out.’

The unusual scene caused neighbours to wonder what had happened.

Ruth Mbvundula, who saw the rescue, said: ‘I saw it out my window and was wondering what was happening.

‘Then I saw the woman being taken through her window.’

According to neighbours the woman had fallen earlier in the morning after coming out of her bedroom and tripping on her stairs.

Neighbour Shelia Bryant said: ‘It was just an accident. She is awkward on her feet at times.’

The family had renovated the inside of the home so that the stairs are curved unlike the straight flight design of the street’s terrace houses.

‘The ambulance men couldn’t get her down the stairs as the stretcher could not fit up the stairs,’ added Ms Bryant.

‘When I first saw the ambulance I didn’t know what was going on.’

The woman suffered a back injury in her fall.

Watch manager Ratcliffe said: ‘She was in a lot of pain.’

The roads in the surrounding area were reopened after the woman was taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham.

The woman’s family, who wished to remain anonymous, thanked the emergency services for their help.