You saved my life in car wreck

Halifax fire station, from the left, Area manager Steve Rhodes presents firefighter Kelvin Steele with a letter of appreciation for attending to Yasmin Smithson (right) after she was in a road accident.
Halifax fire station, from the left, Area manager Steve Rhodes presents firefighter Kelvin Steele with a letter of appreciation for attending to Yasmin Smithson (right) after she was in a road accident.
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A FIRE hero who rescued a woman from a wrecked car has been honoured for his bravery.

Kelvin Steele was told his actions saved Yasmin Smithson from paralysis or death. Yasmin said simply: “He saved my life.”

Mr Steele, from Ripponden, was on his way home from a night shift when he came across Yasmin’s Land Rover Discovery flipped on its side, with the driver’s side on the ground.

The midwife, from Littleborough, had been going to help with a home birth when she skidded on ice in Rochdale Road in Ripponden last October.

Kelvin ran down to the Discovery where two men had also stopped to see if they could help.

He gave them a fire extinguisher he keeps in his car in case there was any sign of fire then climbed into Discovery through the back window.

After pulling down a dog guard in the back, he was able to get to Yasmin.

He knew, because of the way the car had flipped, that she could be suffering from a serious neck injury.

She said she was diagnosed with exactly that later at hospital and the fact that he kept her head still may have saved her life.

“I could see we would need the fire service to cut her out of the car,” saidLKelvin, who asked the men to ring for crews.

Yasmin said: “Kelvin calmed me down. I was telling him my neck was fine but thankfully he didn’t listen to me.”

The pair were in the car for 20 minutes before emergency services arrived, and another 20 minutes before they could be freed from the car.

Kelvin stayed with Yasmin the entire time.

He was presented with a letter of appreciation by West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service area manager Steve Rhodes at a ceremony at Halifax fire station yesterday.

“I’m not sure what to say,” he said. “But it’s nice to be recognised.”