City of Calgary recognizes young Calgarians at 9-1-1 Heroes Awards Ceremony

Today, the City recognized seven remarkable young Calgarians at the 9-1-1 Heroes Awards Ceremony.

The awards ceremony is held every year to honour young heroes who went above and beyond during an emergency to help someone in need.

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

“We are thrilled to celebrate these young heroes for their incredible bravery and calm, quick thinking to help bring vital emergency services to the scene,” said Glenda Sahlen, Deputy Chief of Operations with Calgary 9-1-1. “These young individuals remind us that heroes come in all ages, and that knowing how and when to call 9-1-1 is a skill that can help save lives.”

The awards were presented by the nominating Emergency Communications Officer alongside Calgary 
9-1-1 Deputy Chief Glenda Sahlen, Deputy Chief Brian McAsey with the Calgary Fire Department, and Deputy Chief Chad Tawfik with the Calgary Police Service.

Before the police, firefighters, or paramedics arrive, Calgary 9-1-1 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.

Each year, Calgary 9-1-1 receives more than one million calls making it one of the largest Public Safety Answering Points in Canada.

BACKGROUNDER: Award Recipients

Below are our heroes’ stories:

Akashdeep Dhaliwal (10 years old)
Akashdeep jumped into action when his family was involved in a motor vehicle collision. Akashdeep took control of a chaotic scene after another driver ran a stop sign and collided with their vehicle. This young hero was able to obtain excellent descriptions of the vehicles involved and provide important details to ensure the proper resources from Calgary Fire and Calgary Police were dispatched to the scene. Akashdeep also made sure nobody was injured and translated critical safety instructions to his family to ensure everyone remained safe until first responders arrived.

Jade Nicholl (14 years old) and Aleksander Tymchuk (15 years old)
Friends Jade and Aleksander were getting off the bus when they smelled smoke in the air. Instead of ignoring it and continuing on their way, they went to investigate and discovered that some garbage was on fire and that it was spreading towards a vehicle and a fence. They quickly jumped into action and proceeded to knock on the door of the residence and call 9-1-1. These two young heroes let the Emergency Communications Officer know that there was a car at risk of catching fire and provided important information about the size of the fire. Jade and Aleksander remained calm and worked to ensure everyone stayed away from the area.

Izziah Richards (15 years old)
Izziah was waiting to be picked up by his mom outside a fast-food restaurant when a vehicle in the drive-thru caught his attention. Izziah witnessed the driver of the vehicle and a passenger engage in a verbal altercation that escalated to the driver hitting the passenger multiple times. Izziah was able to quickly identify that police were needed to help the passenger. He provided the Emergency Communications Officer with an excellent description of the vehicle and the people involved, and he was also able to provide details about the driver possibly being under the influence of alcohol. These critical details helped police respond quickly. He also carefully followed the Emergency Communications Officer’s instructions and ensured all bystanders kept a safe distance.

Emilia Jones (10 years old)
Emilia came to her mom’s rescue after a very stuck bathroom door refused to budge. At 10 years old, Emilia showed incredible maturity and remained calm while providing Calgary 9-1-1 with critical information, including her address and phone number, to ensure the Fire Department could respond as quickly as possible. Emilia reassured her mom that help was on the way. She also tried to get the door unstuck on her own. When the Fire Department arrived, Emilia helped by ensuring the front door was unlocked, directed them to where her mom was and made sure nothing was in their way so the stuck door could be safely removed.

Ethan Kim (11 years old)
Ethan and his family were unfortunately on the receiving end of a hit and run collision. At just 11 years old, Ethan’s maturity and ability to remain calm during a very stressful event was exceptional. He was able take a picture of the fleeing vehicle that included the license plate and very distinguishing features to aid Calgary Police in identifying the vehicle. He was also able to provide the Emergency Communications Officer with important scene safety information including hazards involved. During the call, Ethan indicated that his younger brother appeared to be injured or in shock, so in addition to keeping his family out of harm’s way and answering questions for Calgary Police, he also spoke with Alberta Health Services to get medical help for his brother.

Dhruv Luhar (11 years old)
11-year old Dhruv and his family faced a terrifying situation. As they were relaxing at home, they discovered someone trying to steal their vehicle. While Dhruv’s father tried to prevent the vehicle from being stolen, Dhruv jumped into action and called 9-1-1. He was able to provide critical information to the Emergency Communications Officer, including that the person had a knife. At one point the offender got loose and tried to drive away in the vehicle. Dhruv remained calm the entire time, making sure everyone stayed away from the individual, and translated to his family that help was on the way. Dhruv continued to provide extremely important updates to ensure police arrived very quickly. When the police arrive, Dhruv calmly told them where the offender was located and everything that had transpired.