Sometimes our kids could spend plenty of time on their tablets and phones, we, as good parents, try to supervise everything they see online, but you never know how many consequence a simple video might bring on.
Mike Heddleston and his daughter were on their annual YMCA-sponsored camping trip in Newport Beach, California. It was an early May morning when he heard an urgent call for help from a nearby campsite.
Heddleston, an off-duty firefighter with the Orange County Fire Authority, heard a scream for help.
Heddleston and his 8-year-old daughter have gone camping together a number of times, but they won’t soon forget their latest trip to the Newport Dunes campsite.
It was still morning when Heddleston heard shouts and hollers for aid from a nearby campsite. With the training he’s received, he knew he’d likely be able to assist the distressed individual in a meaningful way.
Initially, he expected any injuries resulting from the incident to be minor, but when he arrived at the campsite, he realized it was more serious than he’d believed. Worse still, the victim was a 10-year-old girl.
10-year-old Charlotte had tried to jump over the fire pit, falling onto the still hot embers.
The fire pit was still smoldering from breakfast when Charlotte tried to replay a trick she saw on Youtube. The girl was in a bathing suit, leaving her skin exposed to the pit’s extreme temperatures.
Fortunately, a parent was standing nearby and was able to quickly pull her to safety. Charlotte was burned by the pit’s outer metal ring, she fell heavily, putting her hands and feet onto the embers.
Charlotte’s father was coordinating a lake activity when the accident happened, as soon as the girl was ok she called her dad’s name, Charlotte’s dad came running in a minute, luckily the situation was already controlled, thanks to Heddleston.
“One of the dads that was there, he was actually standing right next to her when it happened, saw her fall, grabbed her immediately and pulled her out,” Heddleston said to us.
The incident happened only moments before Heddleston arrived. He looked over her injuries, and found that she’d suffered burns on her hip, knees, ribs and wrist.
Charlotte’s burns, which Heddleston treated with cool water, covered about 20 percent of her body.
Charlotte was lucky to have Heddleston at her side immediately following the incident. As a 25-year veteran with the fire department, he knew the proper way to treat serious burns.
“Be really careful around fire because a lot of dangerous things can happen,” Charlotte said.
In the instance of first or second degree burns, treating the affected site with cool—not cold—water is the correct course of action. The firefighter’s know-how helped manage her discomfort and pain until medical help could arrive.
Charlotte was taken to a hospital but was released. She has another surgery, so there is still questions over how long it will take for her to fully heal, but she is on the road to recovery.