3 July 2015 - Young Boy Commended for Saving Mum

A brave young boy has been commended by North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) for using courage and quick-thinking to help save his mother’s life after she fell into a river whilst out on a bike ride.

Ethan BarnesEthan Barnes, 11, and his mother, Sarah Barnes, were enjoying their bike ride along River Irwell in Ewood Bridge near Rossendale when disaster struck and the banking gave way resulting in Sarah falling into the river and injuring her leg.

After realising his mother was unable to get out of the river, Ethan quickly called 999 for an ambulance, calmly explaining the situation and their rural location to the operator. Ethan helped the operator understand the situation and followed the instructions given to take care of her until help arrived.

Ethan ran to the nearest main road to assist the ambulance crew and Mountain Rescue team in locating his mother whilst ensuring he kept returning to check on her condition.

Paul Roberts, Operations Manager for NWAS said: “When our ambulance crew arrived, Sarah was stuck in the freezing cold water up to her hips and was in danger of contracting hypothermia.

“Ethan quickly directed us to his mother and if it hadn’t been for his bravery and mature response in what would have been a very traumatic ordeal for him, Sarah could have come away with more serious injuries than she did.

“I would like to thank Ethan on behalf of the Ambulance Service for his exceptional attitude and courageous actions which could quite possibly have saved his mother’s life. Well done!”

Paul presented Ethan with an NWAS Junior Lifesaver Award at an assembly at his school, Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar School, on Friday 3 July where he spoke to classmates about the importance of knowing how to react in an emergency.

Alan Porteous, Headteacher at Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar School, said: “We are very proud of Ethan and the way he reacted in an emergency.  His cool, calm and mature approach is to be commended in what was a stressful and potentially life-threatening situation.  Well done, Ethan.”