Toddler Brandon and his Mum thank Bude firefighters who rescued him from locked car

A photograph of a delighted cheeky toddler smiling at the Cornwall Fire and Rescue crew from Bude Community Fire Station who had come to free him when he became accidently locked in the family car, has been retweeted and commented on by well-wishers from all over the world.

Now Brandon and his mum Kirsty will be reunited with the fire crew when they visit Bude Community Fire Station.

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It’s one of every parent’s worst nightmares and was experienced by Kirsty Green when her 14 month old son locked himself inside the car. Kirsty, from Bude, had been shopping with Brandon and had put him in the back of the car while she unloaded the groceries into the boot.

Kirsty then accidently locked her car keys in the boot and then realised that Brandon had pushed down the central locks inside the car.

To Brandon’s delight, firefighters from Bude Community Fire Station were quickly on scene and at first attempted to use a small tool to open the locks.  When Brandon found a coin and was spotted putting it into his mouth, the firefighters had to smash a window and climb into the car. Brandon was quickly released from the car and returned, uninjured, to his very thankful mum.

Kirsty said: "I can’t thank the firefighters enough for rescuing Brandon.  It was awful for me but Brandon thought it was hilarious. I'm sure he is really looking forward to seeing the firefighters again and would be in awe if he was able to sit in a fire engine.”

Between 01 April 2016 to 05 May 2017, Cornwall Fire, Rescue and Community Safety Service have attended 27 calls to assist parents / carers with children locked in vehicles. The AA says it rescues on average seven children locked in cars every day in the UK.

Cornwall Fire and Rescue Critical Control Operator Maggie Moore who took the call from Kirsty says: “If you are concerned about the welfare of another person’s life, never hesitate to call 999.  One of our control operators will talk you through the situation and offer advice and help over the phone or if necessary they will send out an emergency service to assist you.   

Children, pets and the elderly are particularly vulnerable as they are less able to cope with high temperatures and may not recognise the symptoms of heat-related illness such as dehydration. It's not just warm days that can present a risk: vehicle glass behaves like a greenhouse which means in sunshine, temperatures can rise quickly inside a closed vehicle. A child left in a parked car under those conditions for even a few minutes can very quickly become distressed, dehydrated and can die from organ failure. If you see anything, you need to act quickly. If you wait, it can be too late.

In less urgent circumstances, consider calling a locksmith or your breakdown service if you have one.”

The advice should you ever find yourself in a similar situation to Kirsty’s:

  • Keep calm and don’t panic
  • Think clearly and act quickly
  • Call 999 immediately for the emergency services if you have any concerns about a person’s health

Top tips

  • Keep your keys with you at all times.
  • Never give a child the keys to play with in the car.
  • Don't close all the doors unless you’re sure you have the keys.
  • Leave a window open so that if central locking is activated you can still get in.
  • Keep spare keys at home.

The Bude firefighters are looking forward to seeing Brandon again.  Since the photo of the cheeky toddler smiling at the firefighters during the rescue was added to the station’s Twitter feed, it has gone viral around the globe and has attracted a lot of attention from well-wishers including

Mary Mancuso who posted: This is so very sweet and heroic at the same time, may the angels be with you all From Vista California

Patricia Weed posted: You all did a great job!!! Congratulations from Virginia USA!!!

Dave Kelley Posted: Hurricane Fire Rescue, West Virginia sends a "JOB WELL DONE". Very good job on the quick reaction when the boy placed a coin in his mouth, that could have gone bad very fast. Stay safe Brothers.

Cheri Forrest Keeter Posted: Thank you for your service to your community and brightening up my facebook feed! From currently sunny Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA.

Yvette Jones Johnston This story made my day. So glad he is okay. From a Mommy in Nashville, Tennessee (USA)

You can view more from Bude Community Fire Station Twitter feed or their Facebook page.

Story posted 11 May 2017