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Mass. dispatchers, first responders use cellphone pings to save injured cyclist

ALS care and a rope-rescue system helped save a cyclist having a severe allergic reaction in Manchester-by-the-Sea


Manchester-by-the-Sea Fire Department/Facebook

By Stephen Hagan
Gloucester Daily Times

MANCHESTER-BY-THE-SEA, Mass. — On Thursday, emergency personnel treated a mountain biker suffering a severe allergic reaction in the Manchester Essex Woods.

But first they had to find the middle-aged man.

“He was out biking and he had a medical emergency,” said Manchester-by-the-Sea Fire Chief James McNeilly. “A fellow mountain biker called 911.”

Responding to the 3:28 p.m. call, fire officials in Essex and Manchester, with the assistance of personnel from the North Shore Regional 911 Dispatch Center, used pings from his cell phone to pinpoint the patient’s location to Mill Stone Hill in Manchester-by-the-Sea.

The patient was reportedly found approximately a half mile into the woods. After he was found, he was transported to Beverly Hospital, McNeilly said.

Arriving fire officials first made contact with the patient at approximately 3:46 p.m., McNeilly said, adding after they were able to provide medical care to the man, he was extricated from the woods at approximately 4:49 p.m.

The challenge, McNeilly said, was transporting the patient through the rugged terrain where he was located.

“It was a steep incline,” he said. “They had to set up the rope system to extricate the removal of the victim. It was labor intensive.”

McNeilly said while the patient was eventually stabilized, the event was serious.

“He was having a significant event,” said McNeilly. “Paramedics executed advance life support care prior to the patient being removed from the woods.”

According to a posting on the Manchester-by-the-Sea Fire Department Facebook page, the search and rescue was a joint effort.

“Only possible due to a collaborative effort between Manchester Fire, Manchester Police, Essex Fire, Essex Police and North Shore Regional Dispatch, were crews able to locate the individual approximately 1/2 mile into the woods, provide paramedic level care, set up a rope system to lower the individual down steep terrain and extricate him out the remainder of the way to the ambulance where he was transported to a local hospital,” reads the posting.

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