FIRE fighters are praising the actions of 16 year-old Darcy Barker who saved his mother from more serious injury after she received burns to her lower body and arms. Darcy’s mother Kerryn was airlifted to the Alfred Hospital after the incident at around 10pm last Monday night. The CFA was called to the Dunn Street home in Wonthaggi after her clothes came into contact with fire after she opened the door of a wood heater which ignited her skirt.
Darcy was lying in bed but was not yet asleep when he heard his mother’s screams. Thinking quickly and clearly, Darcy smothered the flames with a fire blanket before putting his mother in a bath filled with cold water while they waited for assistance from emergency services. “I did what I did because it was Mum! You can’t not do something like that for your Mum,” Darcy said yesterday. “I was panicking like mad but I didn’t break down because I knew that if I did, then Mum would have lost it as well so I kept it together for Mum. “I’m still shocked; it’s hard to believe what happened.” Kerryn suffered burns to 18 per cent of her body which could have been up to 80 per cent if not for her son’s actions. The 48 year-old has undergone two separate surgeries and skin grafts as she continues her recovery at the Alfred. Darcy expects that his mother could be home in as little as a fortnight. “She’s doing alright. She was on morphine and all that sort of stuff but she’s not in pain anymore,” he said.
The Wonthaggi Fire Brigade confirmed last week that they were looking into what awards they will nominate Darcy for to recognise his bravery. Lieutenant Jamie Moresco of the Wonthaggi Fire Brigade said Darcy is a hero. “His quick actions would have prevented more serious injuries,” Lt Moresco said. Darcy is involved with the Cape Paterson Surf Life Saving Club where he has received first-aid training. “His actions are to be highly commended and deserve to be recognised. It’s great to see a young guy putting into action what he has learnt from his involvement in life saving and remaining composed enough to assist a family member in a time of extreme anxiety and panic,” Lt Moresco said. “This is an example of how community organisation involvement can assist at any time.” Grandparents Fred and Joan Barker said they were extremely proud, and thankful, of Darcy’s heroics. “We are very proud of him; I think it was amazing – his training just kicked in and he was so cool about it,” Joan said. Fred agreed. “He did a great job, especially when you consider how much worse it could have been,” he said. “I know that they train for situations like these through life saving, but for Darcy to actually be faced with the real thing and do what he did was remarkable.”