Hero wades in to rescue baby

Tracy Pritchard who rescued a woman and her new baby from the floods.
Tracy Pritchard who rescued a woman and her new baby from the floods.

An off-duty police worker risked her life to wade into a torrent of waist high water and rescue a two-week-old baby girl in Todmorden.

Tracy Pritchard lifted tiny Daisy Swift, who was just 17-days-old, out of a stricken car in Rochdale Road as the water crashed around her.

She then carried Daisy back to her house while Daisy’s mother, Zoe Whittaker, followed with her other daughter.

Tracy said: “I saw Zoe get out of the car but then she panicked and got back in. That’s when I realised she had a baby with her.

“I didn’t really think about it, I just made my way towards her and managed to get the car door open. Then I told her to pass me the baby and follow me.”

Tracy works on the counter at Todmorden Police Station but as a civilian has had no training to deal with an emergency on such a scale.

She is married to a police officer, PC Tony Hanson, but said she would have acted the same even if didn’t work with the police.

“I would do it again in a heart beat,” she said. “I think anyone would when they knew a baby’s life was in danger.”

Zoe, who lives in Burnley but was on her way to see her boyfriend in Walsden, said: “Tracy is my saviour.

“I was very frightened because the water just came and suddenly we were stuck. I was so relieved when I saw her coming towards me and I didn’t think twice about giving Daisy to her.

Zoe and Daisy have since been back to Todmorden to thank Tracy and her daughters Danielle, 16, and Asha, 5.

“Tracy was absolutely amazing and she has such a lovely family who all helped out on the night too,” Zoe added.

Remarkably, Daisy slept through the whole ordeal.

Earlier in the night, Tracy, of Daleside in Todmorden helped several other people escape the floods, including helping a neighbour and her disabled 
son escape their house before they went to rescue Zoe and Daisy.

Chief Superintendent Chris Hardern, Divisional Commander for Calderdale, said: “I am immensely proud of the work of all of my officers and staff who were working during the flooding. I spoke with Tracy who is a real hero.

“She was not on duty, she took people in to her house, some she knew, others not and waded into fast flowing water to rescue a baby and her mother.