A young Storm Lake girl was honored at the Buena Vista County Sheriff’s Department this week for helping to save her mother’s life earlier this month. Five year old Josie Hernandez called 9-1-1 on the morning of November 14th to tell the operator that she was unable to awaken her unresponsive mother.

The call came in on a cell phone, which made it difficult to pinpoint the location of the call. Josie was able to provide enough information that led authorities to the address, where they discovered that Josie’s mother, Dawn Weiland, was unconscious due to a severe medical condition. Weiland was treated at Buena Vista Regional Medical Center.

Weiland’s life was saved thanks to her having trained her daughter to call 9-1-1 in an emergency situation, and Weiland reminds other parents to do the same. She says she is a severe diabetic and taught her daughter to call 9-1-1 in an emergency, and says all parents should do the same. Buena Vista County Sheriff Gary Launderville also credited Belinda Johnson, the dispatcher who took Josie’s call.

Launderville says these type of things don’t happen very often, but he says when they do, everyone needs to be recognized. He says a team effort among the dispatcher and paramedics and Josie helped save a life. Josie was given several gifts for her effort, including a badge, junior deputy sheriff t-shirt, and a junior lifesaver award.

By Ryan Thompson, KAYL, Storm Lake