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Avon honors 9-year-old with hero award for 911 call

Darasimi Fajana was just 8 years old when she called 911 as her brother had a medical crisis.

AVON, Ind. — The town of Avon is praising a little girl for saving her big brother's life. She stayed calm under pressure. Dispatchers said that's something most adults don't do.

Last spring, then-8-year-old Darasimi Fajana, who goes by Racheal, calmly called 911. She was connected to Hendricks County Dispatch. The child and the dispatcher on the other end worked together to save her brother's life.

"This is Hendricks County 911," said Dispatcher Kane Lesser. 

"Hello. My mom told me to call you because my brother is dealing with a medical crisis," said Racheal.

Lesser did what he's trained to do and asked for an adult. However, there was a language barrier. 

"Can you give the phone back to your granddaughter?" said Lesser. "Can you hear me?" 

"Yes, I can hear you very well," said Racheal.

Lesser asked the fourth-grader for her phone number and address. She didn't hesitate. 

"In Avon, Indiana?" Lesser said. 

"Yes," she replied. 

"That was the scariest moment I've actually ever dealt with, with my brother," said Racheal, as she recalled that day.

"How old are you?" Lesser asked.

"Eight," Racheal applied.

"Eight? You're doing very well, and you said you needed an ambulance," Lesser said.

Lesser walked her through the six-minute call that saved Racheal's 17-year-old brother's life. 

"I want to talk to you. Can I keep talking to you?" Lesser asked. 

They hung up shortly before paramedics arrived. 

"Can I get your name?" Lesser asked. 

"Darasimi Fajana," she replied.

"You did excellent. This is very good," Lesser said. 

Credit: WTHR
Dispatchers at the Hendricks County DIspatch Center.

The dispatch center submitted the call to Avon. The town is honoring Racheal with the Indiana Public Safety Communications Kids Hero Award along with the dispatcher.

"We have 30 seconds to try and build that connection before we can move forward, and if you can do that with anything, and I think he did a great job with that, just letting her know, 'You're doing great,'" said Greg O'Brien, operations manager for the Hendricks County Communications Center.

Racheal credits her mom and speech class. 

"Basically, my mom tells me to memorize every phone number and email you can and your address and your name, and I said, 'This is so much stuff.' Basically, she was just trying to keep me safe," Racheal said.

"She followed directions, she's able to respond to all the questions, and she is not pressed for time. Adults are pressed for time," O'Brien said. "She's just a very good caller. I wish all our callers are like that. She made us smile at the end of it knowing that we did something good."

Dispatchers urge residents to register for the Smart 911 tool. You can punch in key information like names, medical history, location, pets and even pictures. That way, in case of an emergency, dispatchers already have it.

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