Praise has been heaped on the emergency services and staff at Withycombe Primary School by a mum whose son’s knee was stuck in a tree.
Kimberley Telford’s son Olly, aged five, was last week playing with friends before school started in Exmouth when his knee and thigh got wedged into a forked tree trunk.
The youngster was freed by Budleigh Salterton firefighters who devised a plan to lever the tree away, freeing Olly’s leg.
His mum said her son was left with no lasting injuries other than bruising to his knee and lower leg.
Olly’s mum, Kimberley, of Pines Road, Brixington, said: “The paramedics, and the volunteer doctor who also attended, were amazing.
“Withycombe school were fantastic and kept him calm until I arrived. His headteacher, Mrs Jones, supported his weight throughout.
“It’s testament to how great the school is that Olly wanted to return back to lessons straight away, even though he was told he could go home and rest by the doctor.”
When firefighters arrived at the school they joined the ambulance service in trying to manipulate Olly’s knee free.
The lad’s knee and thigh were stuck low down within the tree trunk.
When Olly’s limb refused to budge, the crew set up straps to spread the forked tree trunk and create some space.
A Budleigh fire station spokesman praised Olly’s bravery, saying the youngster’s courage was rewarded with a look inside the fire engine.
The spokesman said: “On arrival we were met by the ambulance crew on scene and assessed the entrapment.
“Assisting the ambulance service by trying to manipulate his leg, it was clear it wasn’t going to release without intervention.
“The crew then came up with a plan other than cut the tree down or setting up winches – causing more delay and risk of further injury.
“We used blocks and wedges with a sledge hammer, hydraulic spreaders, strops and ratchets, to create enough space by direct force and high leverage to release the leg.”
The spokesman added: “Apart from some bruising and a few scratches, the young boy was given the all-clear after a check over by paramedics.
“He then took a look around the fire engine and had a few photos to cheer him up. Although he was very brave during all the activity.”
The medic attending the incident was from BASICS Devon, a charity of volunteer doctors who respond around the clock, supporting the South Western Ambulance Service.
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