Calgary 9-1-1 celebrates young heroes

Today The City of Calgary recognized seven young Calgarians at the 9-1-1 Heroes Awards. These extraordinary young people were honored for their courage, maturity and quick thinking, helping to bring vital emergency assistance to a person in need.

Each 9-1-1 hero was nominated by the Emergency Communications Officer who took their 9-1-1 call.

“The bravery of our heroes, and their ability to stay cool under pressure is something that should be celebrated,” said Susan Henry, Calgary 9-1-1 Chief. “These children have set an example that everyone can learn from – knowing when and how to call 9-1-1 is a skill that can save lives.”

Awards were presented by the nominating Emergency Communications Officer, Calgary 9-1-1 Chief Susan Henry and Deputy Chief Glenda Sahlen, Chief Randy Smith with Rocky View Fire Services and Deputy Chief Brent Paquette with the Chestermere Fire Department.

Calgary 9-1-1 receives, evaluates and dispatches 9-1-1 emergency and non-emergency calls for its partner agencies which include Calgary Police Service and Calgary Fire Department. In addition, Calgary 9-1-1 is the public safety answer point and fire call evaluation and dispatch centre for Rockyview County, M.D. of Bighorn and seven additional communities.

Before the police, firefighters, or paramedics arrive, Calgary 911 Emergency Communications Officers are there. As the 'first' of the first responders they serve as the critical link between citizens and the emergency help they require.

Chief Henry also noted that Calgary 9-1-1 currently has openings for Emergency Communications Officers. “If you are passionate about serving your community and are looking for a fast-paced and rewarding career, you might be the person needed when someone calls for help,” said Chief Henry. Interested applicants can visit for more information.

BACKGROUNDER: Award Recipients

Award recipients are nominated by the emergency communications officer who took their 9-1-1 call.

Below are our heroes’ stories:

Hayley Tibeau (13 years old) was walking in her community in Chestermere when she heard a fire alarm going off at a nearby house. Concerned for the residents, she knocked on the door to see if any one was home (twice), and when no one answered she ran home to call 9-1-1. Hayley took note of the address the alarm was going off at and made sure all important information was provided to the 9-1-1 Emergency Communication Officer. The Calgary Fire Department responded to the house and thankfully it turned out to be a faulty alarm.

Mohamad Kazmuoz (10 years old), assisting with translation for his parents, called in to report their family vehicle was stolen overnight. Mohamad was very articulate, provided his family vehicle details and answered all the questions the Emergency Communications Officer was asking in completing a stolen vehicle report. Mohamad also helped translate very important instructions to his parents about contacting their insurance company and ensuring if they saw the vehicle anywhere to not go near it and to call police right away.

Reem Abo Sheffa (14 years old) called in to report there had been a hit and run accident outside their home and that their vehicle was damaged. Reem assisted in translating for her father and providing the Emergency Communications Officer important information about the vehicles involved. Reem also ensured that no one was hurt in the collision and relayed important safety instructions to her family and bystanders so no one else was in harms way.

Ben Donegan (10 years old) called 9-1-1 because he witnessed a rollover motor vehicle collision. Ben’s mom is a nurse, so while she went to help the people in the vehicle, Ben made a call to 9-1-1 to ensure help was on the way. Ben confirmed their location and gave the Emergency Communications Officer very critical information, including that someone was trapped in one of the vehicles and that there were a lot of fluids on the ground from the cars. Police, Fire and EMS all arrived very quickly because of all the important, lifesaving information Ben provided.

Jaxon Erickson and his friend Dylan Okeefe (11 and 12 years old) were hanging out in Irricana when they came across a male who was acting funny and possibly needed some help who started a grass fire. Jaxon and Dylan knew exactly where they were so firefighters could get to them quickly. They provided very important details of the event, including that the fire was moving towards some trees and that the male needed help. They followed all the Emergency Communications Officer’s safety instructions and stayed on the line to them up to date on any changes they were witnessing on scene. Because of this Irricana Fire arrived on scene quickly, were able to put out the fire and prevent any extensions to structures in the area and got the male some much needed help.

Ramiza Ahmed (11 years old) called 9-1-1 because she and her mom were in a motor vehicle collision. Ramiza also helped translate for her mom. Being on a road made it more difficult to find an address but Ramiza was able to tell the Emergency Communications Officer the name of a business they were behind and a nearby park, so they could make sure Police, Fire and EMS were going to the right location. Ramiza was very calm and was able to answer all questions including vehicle details and whether anyone had injuries. She also made sure everyone stayed safe until first responders arrived.