Grand Rapids girls who rescued a five-year-old from the Saskatchewan River receive commendations

Three young girls from Grand Rapids who saved an even younger girl from drowning were recognized with Rescue Commendations from the Lifesaving Society and met Manitoba Lt-Gov. Janice Filmon during an April 30 ceremony at Government House in Winnipeg.

Eight-year-old Jaylynn Chartier, nine-year-old Phoenix Chartier and 11-year-old Eden Rose Walker were out skipping rocks on the Saskatchewan River in July 2018  when they saw a five-year-old girl floating facedown in the water. One of the girls managed to rescue the five-year-old and the others found an adult to go call an ambulance. While waiting for medical personnel, two of the girls performed CPR on the five-year-old, who was neither conscious nor breathing, using techniques they had seen in a movie. The girl who had been in the river was then taken to the community health centre for further medical attention. She survived and made a full recovery.

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“For their quick thinking and bravery in undertaking a rescue despite having no formal training, Jaylynn Chartier, Phoenix Chartier and Eden Rose Walker are deserving of recognition,” said the Lifesaving Society.

The girls have been recognized for their heroism before, receiving Red Cross rescuer awards in November.

“They showed very good judgment in the way that they responded,” Red Cross swimming and water safety representative for Manitoba, northern Ontario and Nunavut Chris Brown said at that time.

“All of today’s honorees have demonstrated in the most powerful way their commitment to others,” said the lieutenant-governor in a speech at the ceremony. “If the old saying is true that ‘actions speak louder than words’ these are people who have turned the volume up to 11. Today’s recipients of rescue awards are a cross-section of Manitoba. Some were children when they acted to save a life. Others were adults. Some acted in winter and others in summer. They come from north and south, city and country. What they have in common is that when another person needed them, they answered the call and saved a life.”

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