DAVIDSON – Friday, Jan. 12, could have been a day of tragedy in Davidson. But because one little girl asked for help, it was avoided. And on May 23, first responders honored the heroic efforts of 6-year-old Olivia Fisher and encouraged her classmates at Davidson Elementary School (DES) to follow Olivia’s example.
For Olivia, the January day started normally, preparing for a Friday in kindergarten class at DES. But when she walked through her family’s home in the Bradford neighborhood in Davidson, she didn’t see her mom, Beth Fisher.
She found her mom “still asleep” and tried to wake her up but got no response. She was still trying when her mom’s phone rang. Olivia answered and told the caller – one of her mom’s friends – what was happening and that she thought something was wrong. She used the phone’s “FaceTime” app to show the friend that her mom wasn’t moving as she continued trying to wake her.
The friend asked Olivia to confirm her address. She told Olivia to stay with her mom, and the friend notified emergency personnel. The call came in at 7:41 a.m.
Moments later, Davidson Police Officer Greg Frostbutter arrived at the house. Olivia let Frostbutter in and led him to her mom. She then, at Frostbutter’s request, went back to the front door and waited for other responders. When they arrived, Olivia directed them where to go.
“She showed me where her mom was and told me what had been happening,” Frostbutter said, “and then she went back and helped Medic and everybody else who arrived. She did a great job.”
Beth Fisher, recovering from rotator cuff surgery performed just a few days earlier, was having a reaction to pain medication. She was unconscious. She was rushed to Novant Health Medical Center in Huntersville and then transferred to an intensive care unit at Novant’s facility in Charlotte. She stayed in the hospital for three days, returning home on Jan. 15.
“I was prescribed Oxycodone, and I followed the directions,” Fisher said, “but something happened. I just didn’t wake up. I’m still dealing with some issues, but things are getting better.”
At the May 23 assembly, Frostbutter – surrounded by fire and police personnel on hand to recognize Olivia’s actions – said emergency responders agree Olivia helped save her mom’s life. And she did it, Frostbutter told the students, by not being afraid to speak up.
“If you need help,” Frostbutter said, summarizing the primary message of the day, “ask for it.”
At the assembly, a group that included Davidson Police Chief Penny Dunn, Fire Chief Bo Fitzgerald, Davidson and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools police officers and 911 dispatchers joined in the applause as Frostbutter presented Olivia a 911 Heroes Award for her courageous and correct response to a serious situation.
Jennifer Stewart, a 911 dispatcher, also took the opportunity to tell the students the importance of knowing their address and reacting to an emergency.
“If something is wrong,” Stewart said, “reach out. Make the call.”