FOR THE first time in his 18 year career as a fireman in Tavira, Carlos Botelho was called upon to save a little girl who had fallen down a well, an experience he will never forget and one he hopes will be unique.
The accident occurred last weekend in Praceta Diogo Mendonça Corte Real in Tavira, when 12-year-old Andreia Fonseca fell down an old well, measuring 15 metres in depth, while playing with friends.
Of the nine firefighters who responded to the emergency call, 34-year-old Carlos Botelho was chosen to go down. “The rescue was quick; there was no hesitation. We arrived, set up the apparatus, saved her and carried her to the ambulance,” he said. “I lowered myself into the well using a safety rope and, afterwards, I used a rope ladder to climb back out, carrying the little girl.”
Carlos was assisted by a team of firemen who entered the well via a side door, which provides access to machinery. He pointed out that the well represents a serious risk and should have an iron grating over it to prevent accidents like this from happening.
Andreia escaped without serious injury. She was assisted at the scene by ambulance staff and then transported to the local Centro de Saúde (health centre) for a full examination.