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LISTEN: Girl, 4, saves mother’s life with 999 call

Jane Metcalfe, Mila

A BRAVE young girl dialled 999 and saved the life of her unconscious mother who lay bleeding from a head wound after a fall in the family home.

Quick-thinking Mila Dobby stayed calm and phoned Durham Police when her mother fell unconscious and banged her head.

The four-year-old’s swift actions, coupled with the patience of the call handler, meant police officers arrived at the scene and were able to help Ellen Oselton following her fall in Consett, County Durham, on April 30.

Now, Mila, her mother Ellen, father Liam Dobby and brother Fraser Dobby, have visited the Durham Constabulary headquarters to be reunited with call operator, Jane Metcalfe.

Jane Metcalfe, Mila Dobby, Ellen Oselton

Superintendent Colin Williamson, of Durham Constabulary, said: “At first it was unclear if the call was a hoax.

“It sounded like a child playing on the line which means it could be disconnected to free up the line for other emergencies.

“After great questioning and patience by the call handler it became apparent that the child’s mother was injured.”

Ellen, 24, suffers from hypoglycaemia which affects her blood sugar levels and this is believed to be the reason behind her fall.

She said: “I was going up the stairs and I collapsed and split my head open. I think I was unconscious for about forty minutes.

“If she hadn’t called 999, it might have been a different story. I needed medicine to correct the level of glucose in my blood.”

During the six-minute call, the operator can be heard questioning Mila in an attempt to find out what is wrong.

When asked if her mother is okay, Mila tells the operator: “She’s lying on the stairs and she’s asleep. She has a big bleed on her head.”

Call handler Jane Metcalfe dispatched officers to the address, along with an ambulance.

Response officers PC Niall Brown and PC David Simms arrived at the family home before paramedics administered the drugs Ellen needed and she was taken to hospital.

“This could have easily been a very different story and outcome. I am so proud of her,” Ellen said.

DCC Jo Farrell, Mila, Jane Metcalfe

Deputy Chief Constable Jo Farrell presented a certificate to the youngster alongside a goody bag. She said: “We believe that the young girl deserves some recognition for her bravery and quick thinking.”

The family were picked up in a police van by the neighbourhood team before being given a tour around police HQ at Aykley Heads on Wednesday, August 8. They also met police dogs Jet and Ben.

Jane Metcalfe said: “It was a pleasure to meet Mila. She’s a very clever girl indeed. In my 14 years here, this was certainly my most memorable call.

“I think it too highlights how important it is to teach your child how to dial 999 because they are never too young to put what they’ve learnt into practice.

“This incident demonstrates so poignantly, it could really be the difference between life and death.”

DCC Farrell continued: “Our round-the-clock call operators are at the very heart of our operations and Jane’s calm professionalism, swift and decisive actions shows the talent we have in our control room and those whom I’m privileged to be associated with.”

Paramedic Steve Brown and clinical care assistant Paul Jewitt of North East Ambulance Service attended the incident.

Steve said: “When we got there mum was awake but Mila was able to fill in the blanks for us, explaining that mummy had fallen and showing us where she had hit her head, which was really useful to us to help us treat her mum.

“For someone of her age she was just amazing; it was incredible that not only had she been able to call 999 but had also remained calm throughout. It’s great to see her being recognised for the bravery she showed.”

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