200kg man cut from house, removed with forklift

A morbidly obese man had to be removed from his Melbourne house with a forklift in a medical rescue that took almost four hours.

More than 15 paramedics and firefighters were involved in the delicate removal of the 200-kilogram man from his home in Essendon yesterday afternoon.

Ambulance Victoria spokesman Paul Bentley said paramedics were called about 4pm after the man in his 50s developed breathing problems.

Due to his size, the man could not be moved by paramedics, as he had to stay in an upright position to ensure his condition did not deteriorate.

Metropolitan Fire Brigade specialist rescue teams were called about 4.30pm, cutting off the door of the house in order to get the man out.

He was then transferred slowly to a mechanical lifter, a specially designed forklift, before crews used airbags and platforms to safely get the man into the ambulance about 6.30pm.

Paramedics then had to travel at slow speeds to the Royal Melbourne Hospital and were followed by firefighters, who helped transfer the man from the ambulance into the emergency ward about 8pm.

A MFB spokesman said about 11 firefighters and six paramedics had worked well together during the operation.

‘‘It’s a rarity that we do these sort of jobs but we’re called to a lot of different situations and our rescue teams are trained to deal with anything,’’ he said.

The man remains in hospital in a critical condition, a Royal Melbourne Hospital spokeswoman said this morning.