Women who rescued pensioner from house fire commended for bravery

Chief Fire and Rescue Officer Gary Thompson formally commended and presented Certificates of Bravery on behalf of the Society for the Protection of Life from Fire to Amanda White (left) and paramedic Tara Wallace for their rescue of a woman from a house fire in Annahilt.
Chief Fire and Rescue Officer Gary Thompson formally commended and presented Certificates of Bravery on behalf of the Society for the Protection of Life from Fire to Amanda White (left) and paramedic Tara Wallace for their rescue of a woman from a house fire in Annahilt.

Two courageous women who rescued a pensioner from a house fire in Annahilt have been formally commended for their bravery.

Tara Wallace and Amanda White, who saved a 65-year-old woman from her smoke-filled property in January last year, were nominated by the Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) for formal recognition by the Society for the Protection of Life from Fire.

NIFRS Chief Fire & Rescue Officer, Gary Thompson, formally commended and presented Certificates of Bravery on behalf of the society to both women.

The commendations were made following a fire at a mid-terrace house on January 27, 2017.

Northern Ireland Ambulance Service received a call from a concerned family unable to make contact with a relative who had a diabetic condition. Paramedic Tara Wallace was dispatched to the house and on arrival when she noticed smoke coming from the property and the fire-alarm sounding, she immediately called 999 for NIFRS.

Spotting a woman lying on the living room sofa and realising the seriousness of the situation, Tara, along with passer-by Amanda White, smashed a window to enter the house and carried the woman out to safety.

Working with firefighters, Tara treated the woman for smoke inhalation and she was taken to hospital by ambulance whilst crews from Lisburn and Ballynahinch Fire Stations extinguished an accidental cooker fire in the kitchen.

Speaking at the presentation, Gary Thompson said: “I am delighted to formally commend Tara and Amanda today for their brave and swift actions and to present them with Certificates of Bravery.

“Both Tara and Amanda displayed remarkable heroism in challenging circumstances. Tara went over and above the call of duty on this occasion, and is an asset to the 999 emergency family here in Northern Ireland. The heroic efforts from both women in raising the alarm and rescuing the woman undoubtedly saved her life.”