Girl, 9, calls 911 to save father after he was attacked by wasps
Alex Schneider's daughter, Arianna, called 911 for help after her father, who was stung by dozens of wasps, fell out of his chair and had trouble breathing
By Erin Tiernan and Erin Tiernan
The Patriot Ledger
BRAINTREE, Mass. — If it wasn't for the quick thinking and calm demeanor of his 9-year-old daughter in the face of an emergency, Alex Schneider might not be alive today.
On Wednesday the Quincy landscaper said he inadvertently mowed over a wasp nest hidden the high grass of a Robbie Street home he was working at in Braintree and the angered wasps swarmed, stinging him at least a dozen times.
Luckily his daughter Arianna, who was waiting for him in his truck, saw him running and asked what was wrong. Schneider could only yell out "wasps!" as they attacked him, clinging to his clothes, hair and body as he tried to run away. Eventually Schneider got the wasps off of himself and Arianna got her father into the house. That's when things took a turn for the worse.
"As I started to calm down and the adrenaline subsided, I think it allowed the reaction to really set in," Schneider said.
He said Arianna knew something was wrong when he started to have trouble breathing. Before long he was falling out of the chair he was sitting in and Arianna was on the phone with 911.
"She just called 911 acting all casual," he said. "She held her composure like a champ."
On the phone with the 911 dispatcher, Arianna's voice waivers and she lets out a few cries, clearly worried about her dad. She tells the dispatcher she's worried because he dad is allergic to bees. But throughout the seven-minute call, she stays focused, answering the dispatchers questions and following instructions instructions to apply ice and keep talking to her father.
When paramedics arrived, Schneider was short of breath, unable to speak and on the verge of full anaphylactic anaphylactic shock, which can be life threatening.
"If she hadn't been there I wouldn't have been able to call 911 because I couldn't talk," Schneider said.
When leaving for the job that morning, Schneider said he was halfway out the door when he asked daughter Arianna if she wanted to tag along. Lucky for Schnieder, Arianna said yes. Firefighters, police and paramedics who responded to the incident said they are convinced without Arianna's quick thinking and actions, the outcome could have been different.
"This is a pretty typical call, but the way this little girl acted during the call and was very mature.... was atypical in the sense that she was able to be so calm, cool and collected," said Tim Callahan, a paramedic with Brewster Ambulance who responded to the call.
Emergency responders from Brewster as well as Braintree's fire and police departments were so impressed that they met with Arianna on Wednesday night after her father was discharged from South Shore Hospital and they knew he would be OK.
Braintree firefighters said they have another special surprise awaiting Arianna after she returns to school next month, but wanted to keep it a surprise until then.
As for Schneider, he's said he's beyond proud to see his daughter recognized in this way.
"I'm absolutely blown away and I couldn't be more proud of Arianna," he said. "A lot of stories don't have a happy ending like this, especially with a younger child involved."
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