16-year-old Knightdale junior firefighter rescues girl during W. Va ski trip

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KNIGHTDALE, N.C. (WTVD) -- When Ryan Woodyard found himself skiing last weekend in Ghent, WV with members from Knightdale's Northside Community Church, his instincts came right into play.

The 16-year-old junior firefighter with the Knightdale Fire Department came across a 14-year-old girl unable to move with a severe leg injury. In what is perhaps best understood as a hyperextended knee.

"She didn't say much...she would only grunt. Her knee had bent forward. Normally your knee bends backward. But it was bent forward," said Woodyard.



Woodyard took off his winter coat and wrapped it around the girl's leg in an effort to keep her knee straight. He believes anybody in his situation would have done the same thing. However, nobody did.

"I just felt like it was the right thing to do because everybody was just passing her," Woodyard said. "It's human nature for me that if you see someone in pain, you stop and help them -- try and make the pain go away as best as you can. There was one guy who went by her on his snowboard and just dusted her with snow."


Woodyard was eventually able to get in touch with ski patrol and they transported her back to the infirmary.

"There's part of you that wants to be like 'yeah I did that!' Woodyard added. "And there's another part (firefighters) they're out there going to calls, saving lives, doing the job, that they don't get the recognition for it all the time."

When complimented on his humility, Woodyard gave praise where he feels it's due, "My mom raised me right," he said.

Woodyard did not get the girl's name but said her mother recognized him from his clothes and they hugged.

Ski patrol commended him for his efforts as they used his coat to keep the girl's knee stabilized instead of using their own equipment.
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