Rothbury councillor's praise for fire crew which saved life of elderly woman

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A councillor has revealed that fire crews saved the life of an elderly woman who was left lying on the ground alone for a day after suffering a fall.

The unnamed woman fell in the dark during a powercut caused by Storm Arwen in November last year, and was suffering from hypothermia by the time she was found by fire crews.

The tale was recounted by Rothbury councillor Steven Bridgett at a meeting of Northumberland County Council’s county emergency committee.

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Chairman, Cllr Colin Horncastle, had been heaping praise on Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service for their response to the storm last year and Cllr Bridgett was quick to join in.

Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service.Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service.
Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service.

He said: “What you tended to find was that the fire service – particularly the retained crews and the ones based in the community are local people. They know the area like the back of their hand.

“We had all those resources coming in from the police and everywhere else, but if we said to the fire service ‘lads, could you go and check on this property, we’ve got an elderly person there’ with a bit of an obscure location, they know exactly where to go.

“Actually, the Rothbury crew during door knocking, they saved somebody’s life. There was a property further up the Coquet Valley where they were door knocking and something wasn’t right.

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“They’ve explained it to me as something just felt wrong, and the back door was slightly ajar. They found an elderly person on the floor who had fallen in the darkness the day before. Hypothermia had set in and they knew exactly what to do.

Cllr Steven Bridgett.Cllr Steven Bridgett.
Cllr Steven Bridgett.

“If they hadn’t gone and done that, she would have passed away because she couldn’t move. The fire service is, for me, just superb.”

Councillors were discussing a report on community resilience, which was being put together along with the recommendations from the Storm Arwen Review task and finish group established following the storm almost 12 months ago.