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Firefighter Credits Training, Teammates In Pasadena Well Rescue

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Bui Linh 370x278 XL (2) Linh Bui
Linh Bui joined WJZ Eyewitness News in July 2013 as a weekend anchor...
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PASADENA, Md. (WJZ) — A dangerous fall traps a girl at the bottom of a well. It happened Monday in Anne Arundel County. Now for the first time, we hear from the firefighter who pulled that 10-year-old to safety.

Linh Bui has more on the dramatic rescue.

The firefighter credits her training and her teammates for the successful rescue.

A 10-year-old girl is rescued after falling into a 30-foot well in Pasadena.

“It could have been devastating,” said Debbie Cookson, neighbor.

The person who pulled the girl to safety? Anne Arundel County firefighter Donna McGuire.

“It was important to me as a mother to go down there and get that little girl up into her parents’ arms,” McGuire said.

Officials say the girl fell into the well when the plywood covering it broke. You can hear the child in the background of the 911 call.

Caller: “I’m right here baby. I’m right here. No, no, no. I won’t let it. I won’t let that fall on top of you.”

911 Operator: “She’s stuck in a well?”

After strapping herself into a harness, McGuire made her way down the well, which was only about two feet wide at one point. When she finally reached the girl:

“She just grabbed a hold of me. She was really happy to see me,” McGuire said. “I made a decision at that point to pull a piece of sling out, make a harness, attach her to me, wrap my arms around her like she was my own kid and get her up to safety.” McGuire said.

McGuire says the girl followed directions and was very brave.

A major concern for firefighters was hypothermia. That little girl was standing in about three to four feet of frigid water.

The girl was treated and released from the hospital. Even though McGuire had never done this kind of rescue before, she was prepared.

“We know we had a job to do. And we performed our job successfully and we got the little girl home with her family,” she said.

Fire officials say the plywood might have slowed down the girl’s descent, which is why her injuries weren’t more severe.

It took more than 20 firefighters about 30 minutes to get the girl out of the well.

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