Rescue At St Mary’s

Firefighters today rescued a woman who collapsed while climbing the tower of Great St Mary’s Church in Market Square.

Crane Emergency Fire Service great st mary's church Ladder Lifted police St Mary's Church Tourist

Firefighters scaled Great St Mary’s Church today to rescue a woman from its upper reaches, as emergency vehicles flooded the square below.

Crowds flock round the rescue operation

The woman, believed to be a tourist in her 60s, collapsed in the church’s ringing chamber after climbing a spiral staircase in the church’s tower.

Standing on the rooftops: firefighters load the crane and lower the woman.

Due to the narrow staircase, rescuers couldn’t get her back down and had to lift her from the ringing chamber to the roof. The manoeuvre lasted three hours while firefighters secured lifting equipment and paramedics waited below.

Paramedics assist her into the ambulance

“This was a very delicate incident for our HART and land paramedics to deal with,” said ambulance service spokesman Gary Sanderson.

The woman, who was conscious by the time she reached the ground, was taken to Addenbrooke’s by ambulance.