Brave cadet commended for saving Dad

A fire cadet with severe learning disabilities has been commended for helping to save her father’s life.

Lauren Burnett, 17, of Wynn Close, Baldock, who has Down’s Syndrome, acted when her father, Alan, slipped and fell in icy conditions earlier this year.

Alan was knocked unconscious and snapped his femur in the fall, but despite the distressing circumstances Lauren, who is a cadet based at Royston fire station, managed to hand her dad a phone and cover him with a blanket until paramedics arrived.

She was presented with a certificate by Roy Wilsher, Hertfordshire’s chief fire officer, at a ceremony held at Royston fire station last week.

Barbara Burnett, Lauren’s mum, said: “We don’t know how long Alan was out, but when he came to he heard screaming and then realised it was him. Through her contact at the fire cadets Lauren knew to get dad a phone. She was sobbing with fear, but she went to get the phone for him. Whilst he was struggling to dial 999 she managed to get a blanket for him.

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“We have since been told that the outcome could have been very, very different if Lauren had not been able to fight through her own fear. It goes to show that the person who is normally cared for can sometimes be a carer.”

As well as her certificate, Lauren, who attends Greenside School in Stevenage, also received a special soft toy gift from fire officer Pete Chapman, who oversees the cadets at Royston. All her fellow cadets also turned out for the presentation.

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Sean Comerford, Royston station commander, said: “Lauren is a familiar face at the station and I am pleased she was able to come to her father’s aid when he needed her the most.

“Despite the severity of her disability and the challenges she faces every day, Lauren acted quickly and decisively and, in keeping with the tradtions of the fire service, saved the life of someone in need.

“We are all so proud of her and it gave me great pleasure to nominate her for this award.”

Mr Wilsher added: “Lauren has remembered what to do when faced with what must been an extremely frightening situation. It gives me great pleasure to present this certificate to a cadet that has proven herself in a real emergency.”

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