Waking up to find her mother lying unresponsive on the floor of the family’s residence prompted immediate and decisive action by nine-year-old Gelila Aedmasu.
Using her mother’s cellphone and the school training she acquired, Aedmasu called 9-1-1.
“She was crying and really upset,” said communications operator Michelle Everest, who took the call. “I tried to calm her down and talk to her on her level to get the information I needed. I wanted her to trust me so she could believe I was going to help her.”
Everest said Aedmasu answered every question clearly.
“I knew she was alone with her younger siblings, so I was not sure if she was going to answer everything,” she said. “This young girl however did an amazing job and was even better than some adults in her precise responses.”
Mengistu Aedmasu is extremely proud of his eldest child.
“I was at work when I received a received a call from my neighbour,” recalled the Ethiopian immigrant. “I rushed home at lunchtime and everybody was safe.”
The oldest of four children, Aedmasu received a plaque from Toronto Police Service chief Bill Blair at the Communicators of the Year awards ceremony last week to coincide with 9-1-1 Telecommunicator’s Week.
“Gelila did an incredible job and it’s a testament to all young people,” said Blair.
Last year, 41 Division presented the Grade Three student with a commendation letter and TPS sweater.