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Fire district gives 11-year-old life saving award for helping save her mom

By Chandler Watkins

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    BANKS, Oregon (KPTV) — Monday night, the Banks Fire District presented an 11-year-old girl with their Live Saving Award for her efforts while her mom suffered a medical emergency.

“We are honoring the daughter of one of the patients we responded to about two weeks ago,” said Mitch Ward, the PIO for the district. “The daughter had the wherewithal to unlock the mother’s phone with her mother’s thumb and was able to call emergency services. We are here to give some credit to the children who showed bravery and came together when their mom needed emergency services.”

Ward said first responders typically don’t see the outcome of certain calls, but the mom took to social media and was able to connect with the District.

“We think it’s important to recognize the children because it was a time of extreme stress and of course they must have been very scared and often they don’t know what to do,” Ward said. “When some of them come forth like this we like to give them a pat on the back.”

Ward said it’s times like these that he encourages parents to talk to their children about what to do in similar situations.

“It’s important for kids to know what to do if their parents are not around or are unable to respond, as it was in this case,” Ward said. “Have a plan. Certainly if there is a fire, have an escape plan and have your kids know how to get out of the house, especially in situations where you could be separated from the kids. Be sure to have a meeting place outside of the house. In times of a medical emergency, most, if not all phones you can make a 911 call even if they are locked. Get to know your phone. It’s simple, but best to know if you ever need to make that emergency call.”

The Banks Fire District and friends and family of 11-year-old Nevaeh Jimenez gathered at the fire station on NW Main St to present the award and give presents to her siblings.

Nevaeh’s mom, Felicia Hansel, recalls the scary situation, saying she has a history of seizures but it had been eight years since her last one.

“That day my daughter asked me if her friend could come over and spend the night,” said Hansel. “I told her I didn’t think so, because I wasn’t feeling good. The last thing I remember was walking into the kitchen. The next thing I know, I had a bunch of Banks Fire and Metro West Paramedics standing over me telling me that I had a seizure, letting me know where I was. I asked where my two youngest were because I didn’t see them. My daughter had taken them upstairs because she didn’t want them to see me like that. I was then taken to the hospital.”

Jimenez said she was playing outside with a friend and ran into the house to grab a phone charger.

“I saw my mom asked her why she was on the ground,” said Jimenez. “She said she didn’t know. She got scared and told me to call 911. I asked her what the password was and my mom kept saying she didn’t know.”

Jimenez was able to unlock her mom’s phone with her thumb and call for help, telling the authorities where they lived while also following the dispatcher’s instructions as they rushed to help her mom.

“I ran outside to tell my friend to call her mom,” said Jimenez. “The operator was really nice. I was able to put my friend’s mom on the phone when she got to our house. My friend and I waited outside for them (first responders). Then they took my mom in the ambulance.”

Hansel said she is incredibly proud of her daughter.

“I would like to say I was surprised by that, but I wasn’t,” said Hansel. “She is incredibly intelligent, kind, and has such a big heart. It’s not the first time she has helped somebody. She loves to help the homeless or people in need. Last summer, we spent time handing out bottles of water to families in need when it was really hot, so I wasn’t shocked she did this. I am so grateful to my kids. From what I can remember, before I was loaded up into the ambulance my two oldest kids were holding my hands. They were crying, telling me I was going to be ok. I was crying, telling them I was going to be ok. It was just a really emotional day. When I got home, we all cried about it and have several conversations about it.”

Hansel also thanks the Banks Fire District and Metro West for being so kind to her and her family.

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