Wimborne man – and his dog – honoured after river rescue

A WIMBORNE man who rescued a woman from the River Stour while walking his dog has received a commendation.

Edward Bryant was walking with Reggie on the riverside in June last year when the dog brought a woman struggling in the water to his attention.

After calling a neighbour to bring a ladder to the scene, and knowing that firefighters were on their way to help, he entered the river and helped the woman to get back onto the bank.

Edward received a Chief Fire Officer’s Commendations in recognition of his actions at a ceremony held by the Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service on April 18.

They were presented by Chief Fire Officer, Ben Ansell, at the event held at the Tidworth Garrison Theatre.

Also receiving an award were Mandy Blackford and Liz Watts, who both work for Swindon Borough Council’s Homeline service.

Mandy Blackford and Liz Watts receive their award from CFO Ben Ansell. Picture: DWFRS

Mandy Blackford and Liz Watts receive their award from CFO Ben Ansell. Picture: DWFRS

They were commended for rescuing an elderly lady from her smoke-filled flat last November.

The resident had called Homeline after falling but, during the call, it became apparent a candle had also fallen and had set fire to the carpet, triggering the smoke alarms.

Mandy and Liz were already on their way to the flat and arrived before firefighters.

Despite the smoke, they gained entry and brought the resident to safety.

CFO Ansell said: “These commendations mark the appreciation of the Chief Fire Officer of meritorious conduct, that is above and beyond the call of duty, by staff, volunteers, partners or members of the public.

“Every year, I receive a number of nominations, and I was delighted to formally recognise Mandy, Liz and Edward for their swift and courageous actions.

“Without them, I have no doubt that two lives could have been lost.”

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