SENNETT — A 6-year-old girl may have saved her father’s life last month with a 911 call.
Alivia Schroeder was recognized by the Cayuga County Sheriff’s Office Thursday after calling county 911 when her father, Maison Schroeder, had a seizure on Nov. 17. She was greeted by officials and staff from the public safety building in Sennett, accompanied by Maison, she. 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 are my hero,” Schenck told him.
Denise Spingler, county 911 administrator, reading from a different certificate, said, “In recognition of your heroic actions in calling 911, you remained calm and gave the dispatcher all the appropriate information to help your father. Your call stunned and amazed us. They are all so proud of you.”
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Alivia’s eyes lit up like fireworks when Spingler handed her a red balloon with “911” written 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, a communications training officer with the county’s 911 center, and McKenna Loerzel, a dispatcher in training at the 911 center. Cornelius and Loerzel, who took over Alivia’s call, they praised the girl’s calm composure.
After Alivia was photographed with the various personnel, she and her family were brought to the 911 center where she was introduced to other 911 dispatchers as Schenck once again called her a hero. Aliva was also able to sit in a dispatcher’s seat. Later, Alivia, clutching her balloon, 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 to call 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 were staying with them. Loveless praised Alivia’s response to the situation.
“Imagine you’re 6 years old and you’re calm and peaceful. They said it gives good information, but you still want to get there (at the scene),” Loveless said.
At one point, Alivia was asked who taught her how to call 911. She said it was her mother, Sara Green. Maison said she started having seizures as an adult, and they have gotten worse over the past year. He was lying in a recliner at Stephen and Kathy’s home in Aurelius when this seizure occurred and he passed out. In a soft voice, Alivia explained as her father started to grab it, she found her father’s cell phone plugged into a charger next to him.
When Cornelius and Loerzel received Alivia’s call, she told them that her father was drooling and shaking. They asked if she was breathing and Alivia said yes. As she was in an armchair, the girl pressed a button that made the chair tilt, opening Maison’s airway. Cornelius and Loerzel noted that they could hear Maison breathing on the call. He began to wake up as emergency services arrived. Loerzel, who started with the center in September, and Cornelius said Alivia provided relevant information such as her name, her father’s name and said they were at her grandparents’ and gave her grandfather’s name.
“You were super, super strong, you knew exactly what to do and you did it,” Spingler told Alivia.
Maison said Alivia told her friends about the situation at school the next day. He praised his daughter’s intelligence and said he was “grateful every night” that Alivia allegedly saved his life.
Cornelius said she was impressed with how Alivia and Loerzel handled the situation and spoke about the importance of educating children about emergency calls, including giving dispatchers the address of the emergency they are calling for.
“It just goes to show that people should educate their kids about 911,” Cornelius said.
Staff writer Kelly Rocheleau can be reached at (315) 282-2243 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @KellyRocheleau.