Extraordinary Youth Who Don't Necessarily See Themselves As Heros
Community Heros are Ordinary People Who Do Extraordinary Things
This past week marked the 10th Anniversary Of The Children's Hero Awards. The awards are organized and presented by The Children's Safey Village (CSV)...our amazing education facility situated at Waterloo Region Police Headquarters.
The CSV is staffed by a most amazing cast of caring professionals from Regional Police and our local fire departments.
Each year over 22,000 school children pass through these doors and emerge changed on so many levels...which includes reminding their parents about automobile safety, Fire safety and proceedures, internet safety, and community safety. They learn the importance of why you need to keep a cool head in the face of danger to themselves and others.
The Children's Hero Awards are actually many of the safety principles put into action. Ordinary Kids doing extraordinary deeds. This year's five winners are pretty exception kids who acted when that moment arrived, and in doing so, made a BIG diffference.
These are their Stories...
For those of us with siblings, we know what it is like to have disagreements with a sibling. On November 29th Kate and her brother were arguing when her brother became injured. Kate determined that her brother needed medical attention and called 911 for an ambulance.
When a call comes into 911, an operator from Waterloo Regional Police answers the call, Kate’s call was answered by Simone. Simone asked Kate what her emergency was and determined that an ambulance was required, so Simone conferenced the call with ambulance dispatch. Simone stayed on the phone while Kate spoke with the ambulance dispatcher.
Having to make a phone call to 911 can be very stressful. In this situation Kate was having to answer Simone’s questions and then the questions asked of her by the ambulance dispatcher, while keeping her brother calm and tending to his injuries.
Part way through the phone call, Simone asked Kate for her date of birth, to find out, to her surprise, that Kate was only 12 years old. Simone couldn’t believe how calm and collected Kate was during the call and how well she answered the many questions that were asked of her by both Simone and the ambulance operator. Simone thought that Kate, by the way she handled all of the questions was at least 18 years old!
The job of a 911 operator can be difficult, but Kate, you were the perfect caller, making it easy for Simone and the ambulance dispatcher to get you the emergency help you needed, if only every person who called 911 could be like you!
This award sponsor is: Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada Inc.
Recipient: Katherine Arden
With Deputy Chief Kevin Thaler and Sponsor Toyota
So let’s set the scene for our next hero. Imagine you are celebrating a friend’s birthday with a group of your closest friends. It’s a Saturday, late in March, and you are at the Cambridge YMCA pool. You are 11 years old, you are on the pool deck. You look over to the pool to see that your friend is no longer swimming and has gone unconscious while in the water. What would you do?
This is a situation that Melody faced, and what did she do? She quickly reacted, jumped in the pool and brought her friend to the surface where others were able to help get her out of the water.
911 was called and the Cambridge Fire Department quickly arrived and began to perform CPR. Paramedics also responded, and through the medical attention provided on scene, vital signs were restored.
Melody’s quick thinking and bravery ensured this scary situation had a happy ending.
This award sponsor is: our three local hydro utilities – Energy + Inc., Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro Inc., and Waterloo North Hydro
Recipient: Melody Proulx
Now let’s set the scene again, it’s early in July, you are 12 years old, and you are swimming at a community pool. Yes, I know, this sounds vaguely familiar. There are other people swimming as well, in particular, a three year old child, but you don’t notice her at first.
This is the setting that Fahmi found himself in. But when he noticed the three year old child for the first time, she was in ankle deep water, face down, and not moving.
Fahmi was the first person to get to the child and lifted her out of the pool where the life guard started CPR and the child regained consciousness.
Cst Millar had the opportunity to speak with Fahmi after this happened, and thanked him for his quick thinking and help in saving this little girls life. Fahmi was grateful he was able to help, but also very humble as he believed he didn’t do anything special, and just did what anyone else would do.
Fahmi, thank you for your quick action, and handling the situation with such maturity and confidence.
This award sponsor is: Enbridge Gas Inc., operating as Union Gas
Recipient: Fahmi Mohamed
Fahmi's parent's accepted award
On July 28th, 12 year old James was enjoying a family dinner with his brother, parents and grandparents, when his grandfather started choking, or so the adults in the room thought! While the adults were giving the Heimlich maneuver, James overruled the decision and called 911. James was very calm when speaking with the 911 operator and was able to effectively give the operator the required information, including that his grandfather had become very pale and his lips had gone blue. James very calmly announced to his family that he was going to start CPR (which I should mention he had learnt when he was taking swimming lessons). James took control of the situation and began CPR. Several minutes later, police, fire and ambulance all arrived, and paramedics took over CPR.
Paramedics transported James’ grandfather to the hospital and continued resuscitation efforts.
As a result of CPR being started quickly, and keeping his heart going, all of James’ aunts and uncles and many of his cousins were able to make it up to the hospital to say goodbye before his grandfather passed away at the age of 85 years.
James’ quick thinking, calmness, and ability to take charge allowed many of the family members to have closure that may not otherwise have been possible.
This award sponsor is: Kitchener Utilities
Recipient: James Murdoch
With sponsors And Waterloo Fire Chief Richard Depditch
You may have noticed a common theme in the first four hero stories, there was an emergency situation where the hero took action. Our next hero is demonstrating different skills, the skills required to show positive citizenship, outstanding civic responsibility and leadership.
When you were 13 years old, would someone have described you as having demonstrated great leadership, volunteerism and civic engagement? This is how George-Anna’s martial arts instructor describes her.
George-Anna joined martial arts in September 2013. In addition to her role as a student, George-Anna is also a junior instructor, teaching younger students. George-Anna teaches these students martial arts techniques and etiquette such as how to appropriately enter and exit the training area. She compassionately and positively encourages students to work hard and try their best. George-Anna goes out of her way to welcome new students and she quickly fosters relationships between students and strives to build community between people.
George-Anna is also seen as a leader amongst her peers. She has independently written and presented several lessons designed to encourage students to care for others and help those in need. To George-Anna this is more than just talk: she lives these lessons out in her daily life.
George-Anna is also very self-driven. She intentionally searches for odd jobs that need to be completed, and will take care of them without being asked. George-Anna accepts each new opportunity with enthusiasm, and used them to improve herself as well as to help others.
These same personality traits that George-Anna shares in her martial arts community, she also shares in her school, church and home communities. George-Anna is involved in many clubs and organizations, and volunteers countless hours every year to make a difference in others’ lives.
With all this being said, her greatest attribute, and what truly makes her a Hero, is the way that she is able to see opportunities to build relationships. She is especially good at noticing those who have been left out, and bringing them into a group. At a time when anxiety, depression, and mental health issues seem to be ever present, youth need to feel like they have a place where they belong and are part of a greater community. George-Anna’s outgoing enthusiastic personality make others feel welcomed and part of the team regardless of their backgrounds. George-Anna’s desire to establish relationships between people shows her concern about fostering a better community. Her ability to create community is what makes her a Hero. Her determination to develop others as civically-minded and relational leaders will contribute to community safety.
George-Anna is an exceptional youth with leadership skills, dedication to voluntary activities, and civic engagement far beyond her years. She is a role model to others including peers her own age as well as her adult mentors. She puts the needs of others before herself in all areas of her life. Her dedication is truly heroic.
This award sponsor is: KW Civitan Club
Recipient: George-Anna Oluwojure
Our Amazing staff: Kitchener Fire, Becky Moore, WRPS Constable Carol Grandy, Hero sponsor Sponsor Enbridge, Safety Village's Lee Fitzpatrick and Village coordinator Alteria Essensa