Facebook has banned sharing or viewing our news articles on its platform For independent journalism, download our app directly from the source and subscribe to our newsletter

New Zealand woman Ann Bodkin had been trapped in a crumpled building from the Christchurch earthquake for 22 hours, tapping on the rubble and calling for help when she heard the voices of her Australian rescuers

“We told her to trust us to get her out,” recalls firefighter Bruce Cameron. “She told one of the fire fighters on the search and rescue team her husband’s phone number and said,” Can you call him and him say i’m alive? “”

It took the rescuers four hours to rescue Ann Bodkin from the rubble of the Pyne Gould Corporation building. Photo credit: Robyn Edie, Southland Times

Monday 22 February, marks 10 years since the magnitude 6, 185 people were killed, thousands injured and numerous buildings destroyed in an earthquake when it broke through New Zealand’s second largest city in 2011

The disaster sparked massive recovery efforts, backed by 64 members of the city search and rescue team, police and paramedics from Fire and Rescue NSW.They were recognized at a memorial service for victims in Christchurch on Monday while the NSW- Team followed the event from Sydney

NSW Fire and Rescue Commissioner Paul Baxter, who was Commander in Chief of the New Zealand Fire Department in 2011, praised the courage of the crews and said he knew the “terrible toll” the tragedy was taking on town and country

Ms. Bodkin was the first surviving Australian rescue team to be pulled from the rubble She would also be the last

NSW Fire and Rescue Commissioner Paul Baxter worked as Commander in Chief of the New Zealand Fire Brigade

during the Christchurch earthquake in 2011

Inspector Cameron was the leader of Alpha One, the first of four teams to leave Australia hours after the earthquake that struck the South Island at around 12.51 p.m. They arrived the next day as the sun rose on a broken city

“Buildings were still smoldering, people hanging from hotels and waving white bath towels from their windows. They didn’t have the resources to get to these people as all the elevator shafts had collapsed”

The New Zealand rescue workers had sprayed a message on the floor in large letters that read: “Help is on the way”

The NSW rescuers were dispatched to the collapsed Pyne Gould Corporation building, where an estimated 20 people were missing

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

“It wasn’t long before a news team from Nine told us they could hear someone knock, call someone,” said Inspector Cameron

Ms. Bodkin was stuck under a desk she had been under during the quake. The rescuers fought 20 aftershocks in the four hours it took to free them from the building where 18 bodies were later recovered

“It was an overcast day and a large ray of sunshine fell down and lit up where she was strapped to a stretcher. Her husband came over and held her hand and she was taken to the hospital with a few broken ribs and a few bruises

“It was that feeling of relief. It was wonderful to know you were part of the team to get Ann out. But there were paramedics everywhere, helicopters, fire alarms still going off. It was very surreal.”

“When we got Ann out, it was a quick bottle of water and a granola bar and on to the next task”

Lead firefighter Paul Sharratt, who devised the plan to free the “stoic” Ms. Bodkin, said that “there is certainly a buzz about someone being pulled out alive”

“But it wasn’t just about this one event, it was about giving people peace”

The team stayed for about 10 days, recovering bodies and helping with “work beyond the rubble” like welfare checks

“I think we have been focusing on the little picture for a long time, what we did Today was an occasion where the bigger picture collapses and it’s overwhelming But good”

At the end of each day we send you the most important headlines, evening entertainment ideas and a long reading. Register here

Earthquake in Christchurch

World News – AU – The rescuers who pulled the last survivor from the earthquake in Christchurch

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