NORTH MUSKEGON (AP) – A 2-year-old girl is credited with giving a 911 operator information that helped to save her ill great-grandmother in West Michigan.
Virginia Claflin, 77, placed the call for help Saturday from her North Muskegon home, WOOD-TV reported. She was able to tell the operator that her internal defibrillator had activated four times and gave her address, but thereafter she was unable to speak.
A short time later, Aliya Carrasco, 2, picked up the phone and started talking with the operator. On a recording of the call, the girl said her great-grandmother had fallen. When asked whether it looked like her great-grandmother was sleeping, Aliya answered: “Yes.”
When rescuers arrived, the girl told them where to find her great-grandmother, her younger brother and her sleeping great-grandfather.
Alicia Szymczyk, Claflin’s granddaughter and Aliya’s mother, said her grandmother was expected to undergo surgery in Grand Rapids and recover. As for her daughter’s ability to talk with a 911 operator, Szymczyk said she wasn’t surprised.
“That’s pretty typical,” Szymczyk said. “She loves talking on the phone.”
Szymczyk said the family, which was in Michigan visiting from California, had talked with Alyia about police and firefighters.
North Muskegon Fire Chief Steven Lague said he was impressed by how Aliya reacted.
“In my 28 years of experience, I’ve never experienced anything with a two-and-a-half-year-old like this,” Lague told the station on Monday. “We have had 5-year-olds and 6-year-olds, but at this age, I was very shocked.”
Lague said what happened can be a reminder for families to talk about emergencies. He said that children should know their address and what 911 means. He said the department talks to kids in day care about handling emergencies.
On Sunday, Lague stopped by the North Muskegon home to give Aliya a present: A doll with a doctor’s stethoscope.
“This is my dolly,” Alyia said, holding it up.
© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.