A QUICK-THINKING hopeful firefighter rescued a woman who fell near an icy lake – and could’ve been stuck there as temperatures plummeted.
Jenny Leigh, 37, was walking with her daughter when she slipped in frozen conditions on the edge of Athersley Community Lake.
She injured her ankle and wasn’t able to move – but 18-year-old Phoebe Whelan, who was walking on the other side of the water with her family, heard her cries for help and came to Jenny’s aid.
Fire service volunteer and cadet Phoebe, who’s based at Cudworth station and has been learning basic firefighting skills for six years, said her training helped her to know what to do.
As did instructors’ insistence on learners using the What3Words app, she added.
The app gives every 3m square in the world a unique three-word designation, meaning Phoebe could give their precise location to emergency services who would’ve struggled otherwise to find them.
“I heard a big, horrendous scream and could see someone on the floor across the lake,” said Phoebe, of Ollerton Road, Athersley North.
“Jenny’s daughter was crying on the phone talking to the ambulance crew.
“She was trying to explain where we were, and luckily I had my phone.
“I’m first aid-trained, but there wasn’t much I could do. Her ankle looked visibly broken.
“So, I spoke to her and tried to get her out of her mindset. She was panicking and shaking.
“She said she didn’t know what they’d have done because the ambulance crew would’ve had no clue where they were.
“It’s the first time ever I’ve been put in a situation like that but my training helped me.”
The pair have kept in touch while Jenny remains housebound as her ankle heals.
“Phoebe stayed with me for about three hours and kept me very calm,” said Jenny of Highcroft Drive, Athersley North.
“If it hadn’t have been for her, I would’ve been there a lot longer.
“I’m lucky I didn’t fall in the lake.
“I really feel blessed.”