It was just after lunch on February 17 when Ceirra Burk was leaving George McDougall High School with her friends Madison Davy and Lexie Ries. It was a typical Thursday, like any other. The girls were headed out in Burk's car.
"We're just planning our day out, just after our lunch hour and as we were leaving the school parking lot, we noticed that there was a child on the side of the crosswalk," she said. "We were kind of shocked by what she was wearing, especially due to the weather because it was kind of chilly that day. We were all in jackets."
Burk observed that the toddler was only wearing rain boots, a raincoat and a small dress. Another student, Kenadee Karpala, who had also noticed the little girl, turned her car around and came to see if the little girl needed help. Burk and Davy would take the little girl into their car and the students all headed back to the school parking lot.
"She didn't cry. She was actually quite calm, but she was shaking due to being cold. So we wrapped her up in one of the jackets that I had in my car," Burk said. "She was sitting on Madison's lap in my car and we decided to call the RCMP just to kind of get them involved because we're not too sure what to do with her at that point."
When the RCMP arrived, Madison Davy went to sit with the little girl in the back of a police cruiser. The girls changed the toddler's diaper as Burk said it was soiled and it looked like the child had been sitting in it for quite some time. Child Services did end up coming to the school and picking the toddler up and Burk later found out that she had been safely returned home.
The noble actions of the students were recognized by their school and the Airdrie RCMP at a year-end rally on Thursday, June 9. Burk, however, said the ceremony came as a complete surprise.
"I saw all the police there and I thought, 'am I in trouble?'" Burk said jokingly. "But it was a really, really good feeling [to be recognized]. I was still really shocked, so I was kind of shaky when I was up there."
Burk who is also graduating this year, says she plans to take a year off of school as she just received a promotion at work. She plans on going into phlebotomy.
"I've kind of always been fascinated with it. I used to be terrified of blood testing and then as I got older I thought, "Oh that's actually quite cool. Im fascinated by how its all done.'"
When asked why she and her friends ultimately decided to intervene to rescue the little girl, Burk had a simple and honest answer.
"No one wants to see a child standing outside and shivering in the cold."
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