Six-year-old Alysia Delgado knew exactly what to do when she saw that her mom had fallen.
The San Benito Elementary School first-grader learned how to dial 911 in kindergarten, and first responders say her quick reaction last month is a textbook example of how education can make a difference in an emergency.
Delgado beamed in a crowd of her peers Thursday as she received an award from Atascadero’s police and fire departments for her actions Feb. 15.
Her mother, Dominique Hindman, was about a week into a severe cold and had spent day after day coughing. That afternoon, while in her bedroom, it got worse, the mother of four said.
Never miss a local story.
“I got up and all of a sudden felt dizzy, and I guess I collapsed in the doorway,” Hindman said.
Alysia noticed her mom had fallen, she said, and picked up the phone to dial 911.
“I teach my children that they don’t need someone to do everything for them,” Hindman said, “that they can do it on their own.”
During the 911 call, Alysia told the Atascadero Police Department dispatcher that her mom was sick and couldn’t talk. She stayed on the line until the first responders arrived.
“Legitimate medical emergency calls from children as young as Alysia are very uncommon,” police Cmdr. Steve Gesell said.
Many calls from children are misdials, he added, but the call from Alysia was clear and helpful, police said.
“We’re extremely pleased (by) Alysia,” Gesell said. “By properly utilizing 911 to help her unconscious mother, this young lady became a hero and a role model all at once.”
Hindman taught Alysia the importance of dialing 911 when she was in kindergarten, she said.
They had practiced on a toy phone — going over the three numbers and teaching Alysia to recite her name and address.
“Alysia remembered what she had been taught and was there when her mother needed her most,” said Sgt. Jason Carr, who was first to arrive on the scene.
A trio of educational posters hangs in the family’s kitchen. There’s one for the United States, one for mathematics and another with the children’s full names and birthdays.
“I also know how to spell my name,” Alysia said as she twirled around her house in a bright pink outfit and sneakers. “A-L-Y-S-I-A.”