Provided by Prince William County
Angelina Testa kept her cool when she had to call 911 for help when her mother had a seizure last September. Angelina was only eight years old when she made the call. She is nine now. The Prince William County Office of Public Safety Communications recently recognized Angelina as part of the “Make the Right Call” program.
Joe Gregory, a former emergency telecommunicator who took Angelina’s 911 call, said Angelina was more composed than some adults who call in for an emergency. “For a child of that age, she was calm. She was answering the questions. She was very good at getting the exact address. It’s not easy to get that out of adults sometimes in situation like this. She told me exactly what was going on. She knew that it was a seizure.”
At Gregory’s prompting, Angelina opened the door so the paramedics could get in when they arrived. Angelina then sat with her mother and held her hand so she would be there to comfort her mother if she woke disoriented.
Gregory said the call went as smoothly as it possibly could have. “She didn’t really need any calming. She was a cool as a cucumber from the beginning.”
During the ceremony, Prince William County Fire and Rescue Chief Kevin McGee said even though fire and rescue has “the best possible public safety communications center,” it operates best when citizens are prepared to properly make an emergency call.
McGee praised Angelina for her actions. “Angelina, I want congratulate you on behalf of all of us in public safety for setting a great example and making the right call.”
Valerie Testa, Angelina’s mother, said she too was proud of her daughter. “She did great. She got help when help was needed. That was the important part.”
Angelina’s father, Anthony Testa, said the family will probably talk for some time about how Angelina made the right call. “It’ll be a family story for years to come.”
Angelina said she was just doing what was necessary. Her mother had suffered a seizure before and had trained Angelina to make a 911 call in case it happened again. “I was just trying to get my mom help,” she said.