Stairlift traps elderly woman who is rescued by fire crew’s handsaws

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An elderly woman in Suffolk had to be freed with handsaws after she became stuck under her stairlift.

The woman, who is in her 90s, became trapped between the chair and the railing and had to be rescued by Suffolk Fire and Rescue, who used hydraulic equipment and handsaws to cut her free.

She was taken to hospital by an ambulance after the incident, which occurred in the early hours of Saturday.

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A spokesman for the East of England Ambulance Service told the Lowestoft Journal: “We were called at 3.49am on the morning of 12th May to reports of a patient trapped under a stairlift in their home.

“We sent a rapid response vehicle and an ambulance crew to the scene who treated a woman believed to be in her 90s. The patient was then taken to James Paget Hospital for further care.”

Some stairlifts are fitted with sensors that detect potential obstructions between the stairlift and the stairs, bringing the stairlift to a safe standstill.

Seats can sometimes be fitted with a seat belt to prevent you falling from the stairlift while it is in motion and models can stop automatically if they encounter an obstruction on the track or stairs.

Some models have been designed and finished so as to prevent clothing becoming entangled.

Stairlift safety primarily comes down to how it is manufactured, says one of the market’s largest providers.

Most pieces of equipment undergo a rigorous testing regime and each design and component can be tested on as many as 25,000 return journeys, which is the equivalent of 10 years of use.

Stairlifts travel at approximately 10cm per second which means a journey up a straight staircase with a distance of 4.14 metres takes 41.1 seconds. A slow speed of travel is an important safety measure.

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