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County officials honor Delhi Township girl who called 911 when her mom stopped breathing

'She didn't hesitate,' mom says
Alyssa Ward Honored
Posted at 12:53 PM, May 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-17 13:27:41-04

DELHI TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- Seven-year-old Alyssa Ward, of Delhi Township, was a bit shy accepting an award Friday from the Hamilton County Communications Center 9-1-1 Hero Program.

Luckily, the young girl had the confidence to pick up the phone and dial 911 on April 4. Her mom, Jennifer, was struggling to breathe.

"Without hesitation, my daughter Alyssa grabbed my phone and called 911," Jennifer Ward said. "She didn't hesitate, she knew what she needed to do."

Alyssa told Communications Officer Victoria Jenkins her mom was not breathing.

Asked if her mom's chest was rising and falling, Alyssa said yes and that her mom "can't breathe really hard." She gave Jenkins her address, and she remained calm until first responders arrived.

"I wasn't expecting such a young child to know her address," Jenkins said. "We were taught about child callers and there's different ways to handle them."

Alyssa's mom said she was amazed her daughter was able to keep her younger brother calm as well.

"It sounded like an adult with the information she knew and that blew me away," Jennifer Ward said.

Alyssa was honored in front of classmates at Delshire Elementary School Friday morning. County officials said her performance reinforces the important role children can play in an emergency situation.

"The biggest thing is teaching your kids from a young age to know their address, know their name, know their phone number," Jenkins said.

Jenkins, a dispatcher with about seven months of experience, suggests parents and kids do a test call -- call 911, inform the dispatcher that it's a test call and have your child give their name, phone number and address. Also, stress the importance of only calling 911 in an emergency.

Jennifer Ward said she has a condition that can make it difficult to breathe, but said she's doing a lot better and feels as though she has an extra safety net.

"I've always thought in some way I was my child's hero because when you grow up you think your parents are your heroes. And now that I get to call my 7-year-old my hero is just amazing, it's an amazing feeling," she said.

It's been a busy month for Alyssa. She celebrated her 7th birthday on May 6.