Archive for the ‘Heroics’ category

I can be your hero, baby

June 14, 2008
Me, the chief paramedic and a Birmingham Blade. Taken from the front page of the Worcester News

Me, the chief paramedic and a Birmingham Blade. Taken from the front page of the Worcester News

For those of you who don’t know (those not in contact with UBBC members or my parents), on Tuesday I saved a mother and child who had fallen into the River Severn.

I’d been teaching two girls from the Boat Club to scull and got a call from someone back at the boat house saying that someone had fallen in the water opposite the club house and I needed to go and pull them out. I made sure the two scullers weren’t going to fall in – again, in one case – and sped off down the river.

As I came under the bridge I saw mother – suspended by two life rings holding the baby – and another woman climbing down a ladder set into the wall trying to coax them towards it. I pulled in closer to the wall the woman jumped from the ladder to the launch and between us we pulled the mother and baby into the boat, got them wrapped in a towel, drove them to a nearby pontoon to let the paramedics take over and I went back to my scullers.

Both the mother and baby were fine, the child was scared and crying, but the mum was really relaxed and just trying to keep her daughter calm. I spoke to her on Wednesday night, and there’s been no ill effects (the baby was in the paddling pool on Wednesday afternoon) and the most damage between them was a bruise on the mother’s arm.

It was all luck really, very much a right place, right time thing. I was driving a launch and had my phone with me. No big deal, right?

With the paramedic team, as seen in the Birmingham Mail

With the paramedic team, as seen in the Birmingham Mail

A couple of hours later, I get a call from the coach telling me that someone from Worcester News was going to ask me for an interview and that I should say yes (and mention “University of Birmingham Boat Club” as much as humanly possible).  That was fun; I’ve never been interviewed before and mercifully the resulting article didn’t mention that I said “I just did what anyone else would have done”, which is such a cliché I actually cringed whilst saying it.After a couple of photos (quote of choice “have you got anything you can hold?”, I went and fetched a sculling blade), she mentioned that she had another photographer coming at two on the other side of the river and would I mind going over?  I saw no reason not to, so at Two o’Clock, I wandered across the bridge (still with the oar) and met about three camera men and half a dozen reporters from newspapers, radio and television, really wishing I’d shaved and had somewhere to put my glasses.  I think my spiel had gotten quite good by the time I’d finished.

I have now been mentioned on the front page of local papers, had an interview on local radio and TV news and even received a mention in the national press.  Most of the articles claim that I was a “passing rower”, which whilst true, has caused many people to think that I dragged mother and baby over the stern of a single scull, which amuses me to no end. I also got a special mention from the Vice-Chancellor at the Athletic Union Ball on Wednesday night saying that I “represent the values of the University of Birmingham”, and have been told that I might be getting a letter of commendation from him as well.

Here’s is the collection that I’ve amassed so far.

Worcester News interviewed me first, and they’ve had quite a few articles over the past few days.  Here’s the initial report, after which they put out an article on the front page!  They’ve also done a couple of follow-up articles

There was also a front page article in the Worcester Standard.

The Birmingham Mail did an initial report and then another article, though I should point out that I’m not a coach!

And a short article from the Birmingham Post

West Midlands

I was interviewed for ITV’s regional news programme Central West Tonight and they were kind enough to send me a DVD of the segment:

My nan has been telling everyone she’s met that her grandson is a hero, as a result I’ve also had my picture in the Runcorn World, which rather than temper my nan, has simply given her a visual reference to use as she accosts passers-by.

Thus far, the BBC news website have posted an initial report, followed the next day by an in-depth story.

I’ve also just found it in the Guardian at the bottom of the UK news in brief section, and I was mentioned in an article in the Daily Express, which I regard as the one downside of this.