Collaborative effort in high angle rescue

CFA crews have assisted Ambulance Victoria paramedics to rescue an injured patient from the first floor of a multi-storey apartment complex in Bayswater.


The rescue on Thursday 26 :September was attended by several emergency services agencies.

The occupant of the apartment sustained head and suspected back injuries during a fall, and Ambulance Victoria paramedics requested a fire service attend just after 3.30pm to assist with the extrication. 

Due to the patients injuries, extrication required the patient to remain horizontal, ruling out the possibility of using the narrow, internal stairwell.

An aerial ladder platform was then requested by the local brigade to assist. Whilst en route to the scene the Dandenong ladder platform crew discussed the requirements for extrication with the local CFA crew.

Due to the proximity of the power lines in the street, it was not possible to safely remove the patient from the front of the apartment complex and would have taken considerable time to make the lines safe.

High angle rescue technicians were then requested to attend. 

The crews worked collaboratively with VICSES and Ambulance Victoria paramedics.  The technicians rigged a roping system from the ladder platform to crane the stretcher from the building while maintaining safe clearance from the power lines.

The five agencies worked collaboratively to provide support, lifting the injured person from the first-floor apartment.

The construction of the building required the patient to be carefully raised through an opening on the balcony, not much wider than the stretcher itself.  

Maintaining a tag line on the stretcher to ensure it remained square to the opening, the patient was then manoeuvred to an adjacent lane way before being transferred to the Ambulance stretcher for transport. 

Once the High Angle Rescue Team members were on scene, the extrication took around 40 minutes. Coordination between agencies, a clear and precise plan coupled with the right skills and equipment were key to a successful and efficient rescue.

The Bayswater extrication took around 40 minutes to complete, once all resources were on scene.

The patient suffered non-life-threatening injuries and was transported to hospital in a stable condition.

Agencies who assisted in the operation:

  • Ambulance Victoria
  • CFA - Bayswater, Boronia and Wandin Fire Brigades
  • CFA - Monbulk Rescue Support 
  • CFA - Dandenong Ladder Platform
  • CFA - District 8 High Angle Rescue
  • MFB
  • VICSES (Knox unit)
  • Victoria Police.

Author: Daisy Cleland