Big Lake students honored for life-saving actions

Published: Sep. 12, 2020 at 6:16 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Two Big Lake Elementary students received a community hero award after taking action during a medical emergency.

Third graders Bella Hunt and Lily Caven were at the school playground after class one afternoon when they noticed a family in distress.

“The lady ran over to her husband. We thought she was playing around,” Bella said.

“We heard crying so we ran over there and the man was laying on the ground and he had blood on his nose and his eyes were closed,” Lily added.

The eight-year-olds were scared but knew they had to act fast.

“We stood there for, like, five seconds wondering what to do and it popped into our heads to run and get somebody,” Lily said.

They alerted the office staff members who called 911 and jumped into action with a portable defibrillator.

“The school, they started CPR right away and the school nurse used an [automated external defibrillator] appropriately. They really saved this gentleman’s life. We got there and continued on their efforts,” said Tawnya Hightower, chief of West Lakes Fire Department.

Firefighters from the West Lakes station honored the girls for doing the right thing. Hightower said that day, the girls were the initial first responders.

“They were the heroes that day. They started the process of 911. The recognized the emergency, they got adult help. They did exactly what you want an eight-year-old to do,” Hightower said.

Bella and Lilly said it’s a day they won’t soon forget: an afternoon playing on a swingset that turned into a life-or-death situation and how they were able to save the day.

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