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Franklin firefighters rescue woman after child falls into Harpeth River

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Franklin Fire Department Harpeth River rescue

Franklin firefighters rescued a woman who was injured while rescuing her child from the Harpeth River.

The Franklin Fire Department rescued a mother who was injured after jumping into the Harpeth River to rescue her child Tuesday afternoon.

The woman’s 3-year-old child went over the river bank and into the water while sledding in Franklin's Forrest Crossing subdivision. A bystander helped the child’s mother bring the child to safety, but the mother was injured in the process. While she was able to make it out of the water, her injuries prevented her from moving over the steep river bank. 

Franklin firefighters were dispatched to the scene around 1:30 p.m., where they used ropes and a rescue basket to rescue the woman. Williamson Medical Center EMS then transported her to the hospital, and paramedics at the scene evaluated the child, who was released to another parent.

“All (are) doing well at this time,” said Franklin Battalion Chief Jonathan Jenkins in a video released by the fire department. “We had a couple of firefighters who also had some cold weather exposure from being in the water, assisting with the rescue.”

Neither of the evaluated firefighters were transported to the hospital.

“We just encourage all citizens to be very cautious,” Jenkins said. “Have a good time, but be very aware of the hazards associated with cold weather — hypothermia, water emergencies and water situations with ponds and rivers and so forth.”

If a person falls into a body of water, the Franklin Fire Department says residents should immediately call 911 rather than attempting a rescue themselves.

Williamson County Emergency Management Agency advises the following precautions while sledding or playing in the snow:

• Children should have an adult with them when they go sledding.

• Avoid sledding in areas with trees, fences, light poles, frozen lakes, streams or ponds, or on rocky hills. Surface areas of lakes and ponds may appear to be frozen, but will likely not be frozen enough to support humans. Additionally, ice and cold weather may cause tree branches or other high objects to fall.

• Never tie rope to the back of a vehicle or ATV and pull passengers on a sled or other device.

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