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Alliston girl sets sirens blazing, but not because of her allergies

The 11-year-old Grade 5 student was awarded the honour of being this year’s Paramedic for a Day

Even before her classmates at St. Paul’s Catholic School in Alliston started their school day, Heidi Flood rode off in an ambulance as the sirens blared.

The 11-year-old Grade 5 student was awarded the honour of being this year’s Paramedic for a Day with Simcoe County Paramedic Services.

Beating out about 60 other essay writers for the day-long exploration of being a paramedic, Heidi wrote about her experiences as a youngster with a kidney disorder and a severe anaphylactic allergy.

“I know what it is like to be scared. I know what it feels like to be in a situation where you have no control,” said the youngster who is looking forward to going to the Ontario provincial trampoline championships with the Alliston Nikolettes.

“I also know what it is like to have a paramedic reassuring you.”

Her mother Sarah Flood recalled that day. They had gone to see a movie, when suddenly Heidi had a severe allergic reaction to something she had touched. Their plans suddenly included a visit to Stevenson Memorial Hospital.

“We’d gotten to the hospital and we were in the hall. She had had the Epipen and was shaking from the adrenaline in it. The paramedic with her reassured her that everything was fine,” said Flood.

Through the years, paramedics were the first medical professionals she encountered when she needed help. At the hospital, their reassuring words and their oversight while she waited for care really had an impact on her, who inspired her to write her award-winning essay.

As she left with a stethoscope around her neck and her junior kit in hand, Heidi said she felt prepared and excited for the day ahead – which she hopes includes calls for help.

“I'm looking forward to getting a 911 call maybe,” she said.

But the day had already included a bit of fun and excitement.

She’d already gotten to test her siren skills.

“When we were going from our house, my mom was standing in the front yard. We pressed the sirens so we could scare her,” said Heidi.

But her mom was a step ahead of her.

“I warned the neighbours on each side,” she said with a chuckle.


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Laurie Watt

About the Author: Laurie Watt

A journalist with 35 years experience in newspapers, Laurie is also an active volunteer in Barrie.
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