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CFA congratulates Triple Zero Heroes
Little Alex Sims wasn’t too impressed at all the attention being lavished on his older brother James who was made a Triple Zero Hero for bravely calling emergency services when a bedroom in their Dingley home caught fire.
But as the two boys’ mother Samantha says, if James hadn’t stepped up to the plate the whole house would have burnt down.
Brushing off any suggestion that he was scared with a half-smile and a shrug of the shoulders, James was one of a group of 29 Triple Zero Heroes who received their commendation from ESTA for bravery in the midst of a crisis. Watching on were the Springvale CFA firefighters who responded to the call – D Shift’s Station Officer Michael Rowell, Leading Firefighter Ron Harris, Leading Firefighter Bryce Frohn and Firefighter Jack Coenen.
The crew was only a block away when they got the call. James had told his mum the electric blanket was on fire so she rushed in to try and put it out telling James to call Triple Zero. Initially they couldn’t find a phone – it was under the burning bed – but once they got to it James didn’t waste time.
Michael said a lot of calls from kids were pranks but James had been calm under pressure and was able to describe what was going on.
“We spend a lot of time in schools trying to educate kids about the importance of Triple Zero and what to do if a fire breaks out,” he said. “James was able to give us a lot of details, he was calm and he didn’t panic.”
Samantha Sims said she was proud of her son.
“We got to listen to the Triple Zero call and he was so calm. At the time I was running around like a headless chook but he did very well, I am so proud,” she said.
Also named a Triple Zero Hero was Nikita Garrett, daughter of CFA member Tammy Garrett.
Nikita was in the back seat of her mum’s car heading to school for the first day of Term 4 when a speeding car came off the road, went up a bank and rolled five times back down.
Tammy rushed to help and threw her phone to 10-year-old Nikita who called Triple Zero.
“Nikita didn’t know what road we were on but the (ESTA) call taker got her to describe what direction we were travelling and was able to pinpoint exactly where we were,” Tammy said.
The driver of the car was fortunate to suffer only a small cut to the head. Thanks to Nikita’s call emergency services were on the scene much quicker than they might otherwise have been with the next Triple Zero call not coming for a further 10 minutes.
Tammy said it was amazing how well ESTA call takers were able to get information out of kids.
“They ask questions in a way a child can understand,” she said.
As for Nikita, she said it was important that all kids understood how to use Triple Zero.
“You have to be calm,” advised Nikita. “If you are not calm, they (the Triple Zero call taker) won’t understand you or be able to work out what happened.”