The Wildwood Volunteer Fire Department has a new honorary fire chief.
Nine-year-old Josef Aschwanden received the title Friday when the Cariboo Regional District and CRD Wildwood Fire Department awarded him for bravery in saving his mom Debbie’s life.
Josef was home from school sick on Wednesday, Jan. 13, when his mom became trapped under a 1,000-pound ATV at their home on Mountain House Road north of Williams Lake.
Debbie was trying to unload the ATV off their truck when it slipped off the ramp and landed on top of her.
“He saw it happen and got out his little book that has all the numbers in it,” Debbie said. “He called 9-1-1 all by himself and then ran out and told me help was on its way.”
Her son even took a photograph of her pinned under the ATV and sent it to his dad Sepp at work to let him know about the emergency situation.
“I had learned about calling 9-1-1 from my mom and dad,” Josef said of his efforts after receiving his accolades. “Mommy said you call and tell them where you are and what happened and who needs to come.”
He also carefully wrapped his mom in a sleeping bag to keep her warm and stop hypothermia from setting in while they waited for help to arrive.
When the Wildwood Volunteer VFD members, with the help of BC Ambulance Service, arrived and were able to free Debbie, she was then safely transported to Cariboo Memorial Hospital, with Josef gathering up his mom’s belongings and travelling with her in the ambulance.
During the CRD board meeting Josef was presented with a certificate of bravery for his heroic actions by Electoral Area D Director Steve Forseth and CRD Chair Al Richmond.
“Congratulations to Josef for learning about what to do in an emergency and being able to implement what he had learned from his parents about 9-1-1,” said Forseth. “This is a great example of how important it is for children of all ages, and families to learn about 9-1-1, and know how to use the system in any emergency situation.”
For his part, CRD Wildwood Volunteer Fire Department Chief Randy Worsley presented Josef with one of his own retired Fire Chief helmets.
“We are very proud,” Worsley said. “If he hadn’t done what he did it would have been a totally different outcome.”
Debbie said she is pretty bruised but doing OK.
For a short video of Josef’s presentation check out the Williams Lake Tribune’s Facebook page.