A MOTHER and her toddler, who was freed by crews from Bude Community Fire Station when trapped inside a car, have been reunited with the young boy’s rescuers during a visit to the station.
Fourteen-month-old Brandon, and his mum Kirsty, were reunited with the fire crew when they visited Bude Community Fire Station on Monday.
A nightmare for any parent, Kirsty’s son Brandon locked himself inside a car during the recent bank holiday weekend.
Kirsty, from Bude, had been shopping in Lidl and had put Brandon in the back of the car while she unloaded the groceries into the boot.
Kirsty then accidentally locked the car keys in the boot, and realised that Brandon had pushed down the central locks inside the car.
To Brandon’s delight, firefighters from Bude Community Fire Station were quickly on scene and at first attempted to use small tools to open the locks.
When Brandon found a two-pence coin and concerns emerged that he would put it in his mouth and choke, the firefighters had to smash a window and climb into the car.
Brandon was quickly released from the car and returned, uninjured, to his very thankful mother.
Before the reunion, Kirsty said: “I can’t thank the firefighters enough for rescuing Brandon. It was awful for me, but Brandon thought it was hilarious. I’m sure he is really looking forward to seeing the firefighters again and would be in awe if he was able to sit in a fire engine.”
Between April 1, 2016, and May 5, 2017, Cornwall Fire Rescue and Community Safety Service have attended 27 calls to assist parents and carers with children locked in vehicles. The AA says it rescues, on average, seven children locked in cars every day in the UK.
Cornwall Fire and Rescue critical control operator, Maggie Moore, who took the call from Kirsty, said: “If you are concerned about the welfare of another person’s life, never hesitate to call 999. One of our control operators will talk you through the situation and offer advice and help over the phone, or, if necessary, they will send out an emergency service to assist you.
“Children, pets and the elderly are particularly vulnerable as they are less able to cope with high temperatures and may not recognise the symptoms of heat-related illness such as dehydration. It’s not just warm days that can present risk; vehicle glass behaves like a greenhouse, which means in sunshine, temperatures can rise quickly inside a closed vehicle.
“A child left in a parked car under those conditions for even a few minutes can very quickly become distressed, dehydrated and can die from organ failure. If you see anything, you need to act quickly. If you wait, it can be too late. In less urgent circumstances, consider calling a locksmith or your breakdown service if you have one.”
The advice for people who find themselves in a similar situation to Kirsty’s should keep calm and don’t panic, think clearly and act quickly, call 999 immediately for the emergency services if there are any concerns about a person’s health, keep keys on a person at all times, never give a child keys to play with in the car, don’t close all the doors unless the keys are on a person, leave a window open in case central locking is activated, and keep spare keys at home.
The Bude firefighters have been looking forward to seeing Brandon again. Since the photo of the cheeky toddler smiling at the firefighters during the rescue (above) was added to the station’s Twitter feed, it has gone viral around the globe and has attracted a lot of attention from well wishers.
Mary Mancuso posted: “This is so very sweet and heroic at the same time, may the angels be with you all. From Vista, California.”
Patricia Weed posted: “You all did a great job! Congratulations from Virginia, USA!”
Yvette Jones Johnston said: “This story made my day. So glad he is okay. From a mommy in Nashville, Tennessee (USA).”