SENNETT — A 6-year-old girl may have saved her father’s life last month with a 911 call.
Alivia Schroeder was acknowledged by the Cayuga County Sheriff’s Office Thursday after she called county 911 dispatchers when her father Maison Schroeder had a seizure Nov. 17. She was greeted by officials and personnel at the county public safety building in Sennett, accompanied by Maison, her sister, Layla, and her grandparents, Stephen and Kathy Gould.
Cayuga County Sheriff Brian Schenck named Alivia a junior deputy and gave her a certificate.
“You’re my hero,” Schenck told her.
Denise Spingler, the county 911 administrator, reading from a different certificate, said “In recognition of your heroic actions in calling 911, you remained calm and provided the dispatcher with all of the appropriate information to help your dad. Your call amazed us and we are all so very proud of you.”
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Alivia’s eyes lit up like fireworks when Spingler gave her a red balloon that said “911” on it and a bag that included a Squishmallow stuffed animal, a coloring book and crayons. The girl later spoke with Deputy Nikki Loveless, who responded to the scene, Denise Cornelius, communications training officer with the county 911 center, and McKenna Loerzel, a dispatcher who is training at the 911 center. Cornelius and Loerzel, who took Alivia’s call, lauded the girl’s calm composure.
After Alivia had her picture taken with the different personnel, she and her family were brought to the 911 center, where she was introduced to other 911 dispatchers, as Schenck again called her a hero. Aliva was also able to sit in a dispatcher’s chair. Later, Alivia, holding onto the balloon tightly, and her family chatted with the sheriff, Spingler, Cornelius, Loveless and Loerzel.
When Loveless was told around 11 a.m. Nov. 17 that a 6-year-old was on the line calling on behalf of her unresponsive father, her heart sank, she said. Emergency medical personnel were on the scene when Loveless arrived, and after Maison was transported by ambulance, she stayed with Alivia and Layla until Stephen and Kathy arrived, as Maison and his daughters had been staying with them. Loveless lauded Alivia’s response to the situation.
“Imagine being 6 years old and being calm and collected. They said she was giving good information, but you still want to get there (to the scene),” Loveless said.
At one point, Alivia was asked who taught her how to call 911. She said it was her mom, Sara Green. Maison said he started having seizures in adulthood and they became worse over the last year. He was laying in a recliner at Stephen and Kathy’s home in Aurelius when this seizure happened and blacked out. In a soft voice, Alivia explained when her father began seizing, she found her dad’s cell phone plugged into a charger next to him.
When Cornelius and Loerzel received Alivia’s call, she told them that her was father was drooling and shaking. They asked if he was breathing, and Alivia said yes. Since he was in a recliner, the girl hit a button which made the chair recline, opening Maison’s airway. Cornelius and Loerzel noted they could hear Maison breathing on the call. He began waking up as responders arrived. Loerzel, who began with the center in September, and Cornelius said Alivia gave relevant information, such as her name, her father’s name and said they were at her grandparents’ house and gave her grandfather’s name.
“You were super, super strong, you knew exactly what to do and you do it,” Spingler said to Alivia.
Maison said Alivia told her friends about the situation at school the next day. He praised his daughter’s intelligence and said he’s “thankful every night” for Alivia possibly saving his life.
Cornelius said she was impressed by how Alivia and Loerzel handled the situation, and talked about the importance of educating children about emergency calls, including giving dispatchers the address of where the emergency they are calling about is occurring.
“It just shows that people should educate their kids about 911,” Cornelius said.
Gallery: Six-year-old honored by Cayuga County Sheriff for calling 911 to help her dad
Staff writer Kelly Rocheleau can be reached at (315) 282-2243 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @KellyRocheleau.