FIREFIGHTERS will be taking part in an epic Ironman challenge in support of a colleague’s daughter who suffered life-changing injuries after falling into a river.

Seventeen-year-old Jodie Punshon was rescued by firefighters when she fell around six metres into the water while walking along the river path with a friend at Pot Green in Summerseat last June.

Jodie, who lives with her family in Ramsbottom, suffered life-changing injuries.

Doctors diagnosed tetraplegia, meaning that all four of her limbs are affected by loss of movement and feeling.

It is unlikely the sixth form student at Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar School will ever regain the use of her legs.

Firefighters at Bury Fire Station, where Jodie’s dad Greg works, will take part in a triathlon challenge equivalent to eight full Ironmen in eight days.

Money will pay for a standing wheelchair to help Jodie’s recovery and for any specialist equipment.

Greg, watch manager for Blue Watch, said: “We are all overwhelmed by the response we have received. The chair will transform every day life for Jodie, from the health benefits to the practicalities of being able to open up a cupboard.

“Jodie has been a tower of strength through everything. It was her idea to set up an Instagram account about her recovery, she has been amazing with the psychological side of having the accident.

“She has applied for university, she is now doing her mocks.”

Firefighters at Bury will undertake the gruelling challenge on April 21.

Steve Wilcock, watch manager of Green Watch, at Bury Fire Station said: “I came on the next day when Red Watch had rescued Jodie, and as firefighters we go to traumatic incidents but you don’t know the person and when it is someone you know it changes the dynamics.”

To support Jodie and the firefighters visit