Mimms are Young Heroes; Glenwood students stayed calm, called 911.
RUTLAND - The students at Glenwood Elementary School were excited to learn recently that they had heroes among them, none more than Celia and Alana Mimms.
The sisters, who are in third and fifth grade, respectively, were honored by the State Fire Marshal's Office at a school assembly for their calm response during a medical emergency at home, and were presented with the "Young Heroes Award."
Created in 1995 as part of the SAFE program (Student Awareness for Fire Education), only 280 children statewide have been named Young Heroes. Celia and Alana are the first children from Rutland to be so honored.
In addition to recognition from the State Fire Marshall's office, the girls were presented with certificates of commendation from state Rep. Kimberly N. Ferguson and the Rutland Fire Department, which also gave the girls gift certificates for pizza.
On Nov. 30, the girls were home alone with their grandmother, Frances Locke, when it became apparent to the girls that Mrs. Locke was having a heart attack. The girls remained calm and called 911, and provided the dispatcher with all the necessary information to bring the ambulance to their home.
Firefighter and paramedic Dan Dean, who is also the town's SAFE coordinator, met the girls at the house. The girls recognized Mr. Dean because of his visits to the school, and they continued to be calm and assist the ambulance team by providing more information.
Mrs. Locke was transported to the hospital, and the emergency department physician on duty determined that she was in the early stages of a heart attack.
"But because of the girls' quick action, they saved her life," Mr. Dean said. "The ER doctor said that because they responded so quickly, there was practically no damage to her heart."
Rachel Mimms, the girls' mother, said her mother is now recovering at home, and is doing far better than expected. "The doctors are shocked at how well she is doing," she said.
Siobhan Dennis, principal of the school, said she was very pleased with how the SAFE program works at the school.
"We're very proud of Celia and Alana, and we are very proud of all our students here at Glenwood," she said.
Fire Chief Brad Weber was pleased to announce that the grant for the SAFE program has been funded for another year, and that Firefighter Dean will be able to continue his work with the students in town.
PHOTOG: SANDY MEINDERSMA
CUTLINE: From left, Wachusett Regional School District acting superintendent Tony Gasbarro, Glenwood principal Siobhan Dennis, State Rep. Kimberly N. Ferguson, Celia Mimms, Rachel Mimms, Alana Mimms, firefighter and paramedic Daniel Dean, Timothy Howe of the State Fire Marshall's office, and Rutland Fire Chief Brad Weber at the Young Heroes presentation.