Sophia and Ella Robson with parents Alan and Angela and North East Ambulance Service health advisor Joanna Aird, paramedics Helen Gibson and Scott Roberts and clinical care manager Richard Ilderton

Brave sisters rewarded for helping dad in an emergency

Sophia and Ellen rewarded by the ambulance team who came to dad's aid

Sisters Sophia and Ella Robson have been rewarded for their bravery by the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) after calling 999 when their dad had a seizure at their home in North Shields.

Sophia Robson, aged six, sprang into action in November when her dad Alan had an epileptic seizure whilst helping her get ready for a dance competition.

Whilst looking after her four-year-old sister Ella, Sophia went straight for the paper kept safe in her room for emergencies, which included the family house address and her parents’ names and numbers, which she then used to feedback on the phone to NEAS health advisor Joanna Aird.

To recognise the courage of Sophia and Ella, Joanna, alongside the crew who attended to Alan –clinical care manager Richard Ilderton and paramedics Scott Roberts and Helen Gibson – have now awarded the sisters with a bravery certificate.

Richard, who arrived first on scene, said: “When I arrived at the family home, we were greeted by Sophia, who took me straight through to her dad. It was amazing that Sophia remembered what to do in an emergency and that she managed to reach out for help for her dad.”

Scott Roberts, recently qualified as a paramedic, arrived a few minutes later with paramedic Helen Gibson and said, “The girls did a fantastic job when dealing with their dad, Sophia particularly deserves the bravery certificate for her heroic and brave actions, as she has shown great courage for such a young girl. It's nice to be rewarded by parents as a child but it is something special when it comes from us paramedics and NEAS. It's an absolute honour to award the bravery certificate to Sophia to say well done. She gave the exact information to our call handler Joanna, which made our job so much easier.

“I'd say it's so important to educate kids at a young age with what to do in an emergency situation. It's never too early to start telling them how to use 999 and when to use the emergency services. Teaching kids how to ring 999 and what to do in an emergency is something all parents need to consider as it could be the only source of help for someone in an emergency.

“It's really important for kids to learn their own address, where they live and their parents full names as this provides a quick response from the call takers which then gets the message to us much quicker to get to the patient. We paramedics are not scary, we are just there to help and we want to get this across to kids when they are in an emergency situation.”

Sophia’s mum Angela said: “Sophia did absolutely amazing in responding to Alan having a seizure. She normally gets scared and hides in her room when her Daddy has a fit but this time she was so strong in coping with the situation.

“We have educated Sophia and Ella in calling for help when there isn’t another adult nearby. Sophia kept a piece of paper safe in her room which included 999 and our house address. We are so pleased of her for listening and remembering that vital piece of information.

“We are so proud of Sophia of how she coped with the situation for a six year old little girl and the simple thing of educating her in knowing what to do and who to call in an emergency has certainly saved Alan's life. I have spoken to colleagues and friends about what happened and they have since told their sons and daughters how to use a phone and what to do in an emergency situation and so I would like to say to other parents, educate your children in what to do in those situation as they are more tough than you think."

Speaking after the reunion, Joanna added: “Sophia was incredibly brave and eloquent on the phone, her parents should be very proud.

“It’s really nice to be able to find out what happened because we don’t normally get to know, I’m so pleased this story had a happy ending.

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Copyright 2011 North East Ambulance Service Trust

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