Specialist kit saves fallen builder

SPECIALIST equipment played a key role in this dramatic rescue of an injured workman in Ipswich.The builder was recovering in hospital todayafter falling from a ladder on top of a new hotel being constructed on Ipswich waterfront yesterday.

By Tracey Sparling

SPECIALIST equipment played a key role in this dramatic rescue of an injured

workman in Ipswich.

The builder was recovering in hospital today after falling from a ladder on top of a new hotel being constructed on Ipswich waterfront yesterday.

Firefighters had to rescue the trapped worker after the accident and lift him down from the fifth storey using a 100ft turntable ladder – which could soon be unavailable for emergencies if the threatened fire service strike goes ahead.

The worker, who appeared to be aged in his 20s, was part of a crew from Ipswich firm RG Carter constructing the four-star luxury Salthouse Harbour Hotel off Fore Street.

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Crane driver Rod Horton had been lifting steel posts up to the top of the building before the accident.

He said: "I had been speaking to him a minute before it happened, but I didn't see what happened."

As he watched the emergency services trying to get the unnamed casualty down to ground level, Mr Horton added the man was probably the heaviest member of the building crew, weighing about 16 stone.

Assistant Divisional Officer Karl Rolfe from Princes Street fire station said at the scene: "The casualty had fallen from a ladder when we arrived, so paramedics went up and stabilised him at that level, on the fifth floor, then we had to work out a way to get him down.

"We had to move stacks of steelwork away so we could get the turntable ladder in place, so there was a short delay but the paramedics had already ascertained he was stable."

Strapped on to a basket stretcher and carried across the roof by five firefighters, the injured man was taken down to ground level by two more crew on the turntable ladder.

A trolley stretcher was slid underneath him, and he was taken to Ipswich Hospital by ambulance.

The accident happened at 3.15pm and was over by 4.05pm when Fore Street was reopened to traffic.

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