Noorvik children, older Alaskans get EMS awards

Posted: Sunday, November 12, 2000

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Two first-grade Noorvik girls are among Alaskans honored with the Governor's Emergency Medical Services awards.

Quick thinking by Lottie Judith Wells, 6, and Kacie Simpson, 5, saved the life of Lottie's toddler brother Irvin after he was nearly choked by a lanyard attached to a clothes hook.

Lottie held up Irvin while Kacie summoned help.

''We thought these girls showed great presence of mind for someone so young,'' said Charlie Lean, chairman of the Alaska Council on Emergency Medical Services, which granted the awards Saturday. ''They recognized a life-threatening situation and they acted appropriately.''

Irvin, who was 2 at the time, and his sister Doreen, who was 4, were playing on a love seat last winter while the older girls played at a computer.

The love seat was beside a small, doorless closet where a 2-foot nylon lanyard with a key ring hung from a hook.

The 2-year-old boy put it around his neck intentionally or by accident, said Kenny Wells, his father, and then either jumped or fell from the sofa.

''(Lottie) saw him hanging,'' Wells said. ''She held his legs up, she took the weight off.''

As Lottie held her brother, Kacie ran to the master bedroom to alert his parents.

The child had turned blue and Wells had to administer CPR.

''If my daughter didn't hold him, he could have snapped his neck and died or something,'' he said. ''The doctors at Anchorage said that.''

Other Alaskans honored include:

--Capt. Louis Green Nome, who received a citizen award for rescuing a woman he spotted in the water. The woman was unable to climb into his boat so he jumped in, secured her with a line and hoisted her on board his vessel.

--Tom Vaden of Nome, honored for contributions to the EMS system, including training programs;

-- Suzan Zehner or Fairbanks, honored for contributions as an instructor;

Ida May (Joy) Silvey Blanchette, nurse manager Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital Emergency Services in Sitka, for enhancing EMS efforts.

--The Old Harbor Village Response Team of Kodiak Island, honored as the outstanding ambulance crew.

-- Jim Murdoch, owner of KZXX radio in Kenai, recognized for his support through a weekly show, the ''Firefighter Friday Program.''

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