When we hear stories of people being pulled from burning buildings, we probably assume that firefighters were the heroes of the tale. After all, they’re the ones trained and equipped to deal with such disasters.
But they’re not always the first ones on the scene, and when someone is trapped in a structure that’s on fire, time is of the essence.
It was up to two police officers to save a young boy in Australia on March 26. According to 9Now’s “Today,” it was Senior Constable Tom Gryta and Constable Rhys Morrissey who arrived on the scene in Western Australia and performed the rescue.
“We just were fortunate enough to be pretty close by when a call come through for a house fire,” Gryta told Today.
“We both sort of exited the car not quite knowing what was going on. The text of the job was pretty basic.”
When they got to the house in the early hours of the morning, they were told that an 8-year-old boy, Liam, was still trapped somewhere in the house.
Bodycam footage showed family members and the two policemen rushing around the property as one cop bashed in a window and multiple people called out Liam’s name, trying to locate him.
The blaze was massive, and while the window they were at was not on fire, smoke billowed out of it, and there was no response from the boy.
“I think on that footage you will see us run straight into the backyard and we get directed to a rear bedroom where Liam was supposed to have been sleeping,” Gryta said. “The search was on and we were desperate to find any way in.”
“Rhys just started smashing one of the side windows and kept persisting for quite some time until eventually getting through that side door.”
“From the start, after we got to the address, we found out that there was a person inside, everything got a bit stressful and there were a lot of things going on in your head,” Morrissey explained.
Eventually they spotted the boy, but he wasn’t responding. He was lying on the floor, unconscious.
“But it’s almost a sense of relief once we sighted him because that’s probably half the problem gone,” Morrissey continued. “When we got inside the house to him, and saw his condition, it wasn’t the best feeling. But we just had to prioritise and get him out of that environment and out to where someone can provide the treatment that he needs.”
Thankfully, the boy made a complete recovery after being flown to Perth Children’s Hospital, and the two policemen have been hailed as heroes.
On April 8, the Western Australia Police Force Facebook page shared the bodycam video of the daring rescue.
Reflecting on the video, Gryta said that it gives viewers a good idea of the stress and adrenaline levels that they often face during emergency situations.
“There’s a little less of a stress level [watching the video] but you certainly have got the same emotion attached to it,” he said. “This sort of stuff happens a fair bit amongst all of the emergency services.”
Port Hedland Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service echoed many people’s sentiments in the comment they left on the video: “The huge amount of courage and bravery displayed by those officers is incredible and from the crews at Port Hedland Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service, we want to say thank you for what they did.”
According to a post by the Port Hedlund Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service, not only was the boy rescued, but six puppies were rescued as well and reunited safe and sound with their mom.
The property damage might be devastating, but thanks to emergency response’s vigilance, lives were saved.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.