Red Deer emergency crews work to free man trapped between buildings

City of Red Deer fire-medic Tyler Hirsche measures the wall on the former Park Hotel to determine where a hole should be made to extricate a man trapped between that building and the new Executive Place office tower on Ross Street on Thursday afternoon.

City of Red Deer fire-medic Tyler Hirsche measures the wall on the former Park Hotel to determine where a hole should be made to extricate a man trapped between that building and the new Executive Place office tower on Ross Street on Thursday afternoon.

Red Deer firefighters had to cut a hole through a wall to rescue a man wedged for hours in a half-metre gap between buildings downtown Thursday afternoon.

Construction workers building the Executive Place office tower on Ross Street discovered the trapped man and called emergency services about 3:30 p.m.

The near-frozen man, in his 20s, was discovered wedged so tightly his feet couldn’t reach the ground in a narrow gap between the office building and the former historic Park Hotel. The temperatuire was -13C.

It took fire-medics about an hour to free the man, who was kept warm with blankets and a portable heater.

Platoon Chief Jeff Lunder said a one-metre-by-one-metre hole was cut through a wall to pull out the man, who was conscious and talking.

He claimed to have been crossing from one roof to another when he fell about six metres. The man said he had been trapped and calling for help for five hours before he was discovered.

Lunder said the man had “extreme hypothermia,” but it was not known if he had other injuries. He was wheeled out on a stretcher and taken to hospital about 4:35 p.m.

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