Norfolk fire crews rescue 40st heart attack victim

Annabelle DicksonA 40-stone man suffering from a heart attack had to be rescued through a bedroom window with an aerial ladder.Annabelle Dickson

A 40-stone man suffering from a heart attack had to be rescued through a bedroom window with an aerial ladder.

Five fire crews were called to Highgate in King's Lynn on Tuesday when the man became seriously ill and needed treatment at hospital.

He was lowered onto a stretcher from a spare bedroom window and taken to a waiting ambulance.

King's Lynn watch manager Tim Edwards said five crews were called to ensure all options were covered.

Three crews from King's Lynn, one crew from Sandringham and an urban search and rescue team from Wymondham were all called to the rescue.

Mr Edwards said: 'It seems like a lot of resources, but at the end of the day it was a life at risk. Without the intervention the outcome would have been different.'

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An ambulance was called on Tuesday afternoon after the man started suffering from breathing difficulties.

Mr Edwards said: 'When the ambulance arrived they quickly realised that the gentleman needed urgent medical attention. Because of his size they realised five people wasn't going to be enough.'

He said they were unable to take him down the stairs because of the restrictions in space on the corridor and the number of people it would take to lift him and they had planned to take him out of his bedroom window, but it was not big enough.

'We needed the urban search and rescue team as they've got specialist rope equipment and specialist cutting tools. If necessary we would have had to remove the windows to get him out of his bedroom', he said.

But because of the urgency the crews took him out of a room the other side of the flat.

'The guy went into cardiac arrest', he said. 'It became critical to get him out.'

'We had to cut through some telephone cables to make access and then we were able to lift him out of the window on a stretcher - we didn't have any time - we just had to get him out', he added.

An ambulance spokeswoman said they had been called by the patient's doctor initially because the man was having breathing difficulties.

'It was classed as an urgent, not emergency, call at that point, but the patient later went into cardiac arrest while we were on scene', she said.

The ambulance crew resuscitated the man for 35 minutes and stabilised him before taking him to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn

Last night a spokesman for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn said that the man's condition was stable but he was very poorly.