08 July 2005

Brian Chambers: Bus hero tells of saving boy's life

Belfast Telegraph

Driver nominated for special award

By Linda McKee
08 July 2005

AN Ulsterbus driver has described the moment he spotted a small figure hanging from a tree.

Brian Chambers, from Crumlin, slammed on the brakes and raced to the spot where the 11-year-old boy was hanging - but believed he had been too late.

Even as he disentangled the rope from around his neck, he realised the child wasn't breathing. But as he tried to resuscitate him, he noticed a weak pulse and knew there was still hope.

Mr Chambers managed to save the boy's life, and now his employers Translink have nominated him for a Vodafone Lifesavers Award. The awards, run with the Belfast Telegraph, are aimed at those who have saved lives in exceptional circumstances.

Police and councillors in Crumlin have commended Mr Chambers for his quick thinking and heroic actions in rescuing the boy, who had been swinging on the rope.

The bus driver was returning from a shift at Stoneyford on March 8 when he passed a small glen that was a popular spot for children to play.

It was only because he was sitting high up in the bus that he caught sight of the motionless figure, he said.

"I happened to look over my shoulder and there hanging from a tree was a wee boy, hanging by the neck," he said.

Mr Chambers lifted the boy down and tried to resuscitate him, not sure whether he was alive or dead.

As more people arrived, the boy was rushed to hospital.

Since the accident, parents have removed the rope, which hung over a brook, Mr Chambers said.

"He was just mucking about and whatever happened the rope must have slipped and caught him around the neck," he said.

The boy was home in three days and making a good recovery.

"I don't think he'll ever be the same again. He'd stopped breathing when I lifted him down," said Mr Chambers.

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