Cellphone used as tracking device to rescue man

By Derek Cheng

The local knowledge of an ambulance communications officer and the use of a cellphone as a tracking device saved a man from further harm after he fell 20m into a hole on a Downtown Auckland construction site.

The man was seriously injured when he fell into the hole in Mills Lane about 6pm yesterday, but was able to call for an ambulance.

"But he had no idea where he was," said St John communications team leader Murray Bannister.

"One of the officers used his local knowledge and guessed he was in Mills Lane.

"Then we sent an ambulance up and down Mills Lane while we listened to the siren through the man's cellphone."

When the siren, heard through the phone, was at its loudest, ambulance officers jumped out and found the man.

"He was lost to the world. If it weren't for those two things, he could possibly still be down there,"  he said.

The man was hauled out about 7pm and taken to Auckland City Hospital.

Mills Lane runs parallel to Queen and Albert Streets.

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