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New Zealand Ann Bodkin had been trapped inside a collapsed building by the Christchurch earthquake for 22 hours, patting the rubble and calling for help, when she heard the voice of its Australian rescuers

“We told her to trust us, get her out,” remembers firefighter Bruce Cameron “She told one of the firefighters on the search and rescue team her phone number. husband and said, “Can you call him and tell him I’m alive?” “”

Rescuers took four hours to free Ann Bodkin from the wreckage of the Pyne Gould Corporation building Credit: Robyn Edie, Southland Times

Monday February 22 marks the 10th anniversary of magnitude-6 Earthquake 3 killed 185 people, injured thousands more and destroyed many buildings in the destruction of the second largest city of Nouvelle -Zeeland in 2011

The disaster sparked a massive recovery effort, supported by 64 members of Fire and Rescue NSW’s urban search and rescue team, police and paramedics They were recognized on Monday during a memorial service for the victims in Christchurch, while the NSW team watched the event from Sydney

New South Wales Fire and Rescue Commissioner Paul Baxter, who was Commander-in-Chief of the New Zealand Fire Service in 2011, praised the courage of the crews by saying he knew the “Terrible toll” that the tragedy has made for the city and the country

Ms Bodkin was the first survivor of Australian rescue teams to emerge from the rubble; it would also be the last

New South Wales Fire and Rescue Commissioner Paul Baxter worked as the Senior Commander of the New Zealand Fire Services during the Christchurch earthquake in 2011

Inspector Cameron was the head of Alpha One, the first of four teams that left Australia a few hours after the earthquake that rocked the South Island around 1251h They arrived the next day so as the sun rose over a broken city

“There were buildings that were still smoldering, there were people hanging out outside hotels waving white towels at the window. They didn’t have the resources to reach these people because the elevator shafts had all collapsed “

New Zealand rescue teams broadcast a large text message on the ground saying “help is on the way”

New South Wales rescuers were deployed to the collapsed Pyne Gould Corporation building, where around 20 people were reported missing

Ms Bodkin was the last survivor from the rubble Eighteen bodies were recovered from the buildingCredit: Chris Skelton, Dominion Post

“Shortly after we arrived a Nine News crew told us they could hear someone typing, someone calling,” Inspector Cameron said.

Ms Bodkin was trapped under a desk she had rushed under when the earthquake struck Rescuers fought 20 aftershocks in the four hours it took to free her from the building, where 18 bodies were found later

“It was a cloudy day and a great ray of sunlight came down and lit up where she was tied to a stretcher. Her husband came and held her hand and she was taken to the hospital with some cracked ribs and bruises

“It was that feeling of relief It was wonderful knowing that you were on the team to get Ann out But looking around there were paramedics everywhere, helicopters, fire alarms were still ringing C ‘was very surreal

“Once we got Ann out it was a little bottle of water and a muesli bar and we moved on to the next task”

Senior firefighter Paul Sharratt, who devised the plan to extract “stoic” Ms. Bodkin, said there was “definitely a buzz around this, that someone had been taken out alive”

“But it wasn’t just this event for me It was about giving people peace”

The team stayed for around 10 days to collect the bodies and help with “beyond the rubble” work, such as social checks

“I think for a long time we focused on the small picture of what we were doing Today was an occasion where the big picture is felt and it’s overwhelming But hey”

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Christchurch earthquake

World News – UA – Rescuers who pulled the last survivor of the Christchurch earthquake

Source: https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/the-rescuers-who-pulled-the-last-survivor-from-christchurch-earthquake-20210222-p574pd.html