Emergency crews scramble to aid of man stuck in roof

DELICATE RESCUE: More than 20 emergency services personnel were called to a house to rescue a 52-year-old man who had fallen through a roof.
DELICATE RESCUE: More than 20 emergency services personnel were called to a house to rescue a 52-year-old man who had fallen through a roof. contributed BUN150913ROO1

MORE than 20 emergency service personnel, including an urban search and rescue specialist, were called to a Bundaberg home to remove a man aged in his 50s after he fell through the roof and became stuck.

Crews responded to the High St property and were faced with the difficult task of removing the man, who sustained possible spinal injuries, from the roof of the high-set Queenslander.

It is believed the patient and another man were repainting the roof when the accident happened.

The emergency paramedics and fire and rescue specialists were working at over 3m off the ground to free the patient and - with on-scene commanders unsure of the structural integrity of the roof and adjoining landing - extra precautions were taken.

Ropes were used from the opposite side of the house to secure the rescuers on the roof, and stays put in place under the landing to guarantee it wouldn't fall with crews using it as a platform to work from.

Queensland Ambulance Service spokesman Senior Operations Supervisor Martin Kelly said the task of removing the man was made easier by the use of a tried-and-tested technique.

"We made sure he was secured by putting him on a vacuum mattress, putting him into a stokes litter (basket stretcher) and we performed a ladder slide," Mr Kelly said.

"The crews secured the ladder to the roof and to the ground and then slid him down; the arms of the stokes litter fit between the sides of the ladder which was quite secure and safe."

Mr Kelly said, because the roof was covered in wet paint, the rescue was made more challenging. But Mr Kelly said he was pleased with the teamwork between the QAS and QFRS crews.

The incident served as a warning to home renovators to take care when performing any jobs around the house and Mr Kelly said there was an added element to safety people needed to consider as the weather heats up.

"You always have to be safe and secure and make sure the roof is structurally sound and you can never be too sure, they looked like they were taking a fair amount of precautions," he said.

"It was quite hot weather people are dehydrating in this weather much earlier and one of the warnings I'd like to give out is make sure to keep fluids up in this sort of weather."

Dehydration can cause impaired judgment and poor decision-making, a poor combination when working around the home.

Topics:  accident editors picks emergency queenslander roof

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