By Mitchell Clarke
For 11-year-old Dion Dulovic, his measured and calm approach during an emergency resulted in him being awarded a Junior Triple Zero Heroes award.
The Emergency Services Telecommunication Authority (ESTA) receives 2.5 million calls per year and Dion was one of 28 young Victorians between three and 16-years-old to attend the award ceremony at State Parliament on Thursday 27 June.
On March 21, Dion’s then eight-year-old sister Jayla was scalded by boiling water after she dropped her two-minute noodles in their Officer home.
While his father Senad attended to Jayla’s burns on her neck, chest, stomach, hands and feet by rushing her under a cold shower, Dion made the daunting call to emergency services.
By doing so, he relayed critical information to operators about what had occurred while passing on advice on what to do while waiting for paramedics.
“I was really surprised, he did so well, you don’t expect kids to act like that on the phone,” Senad said.
“Dion was clearly upset but I needed him to step up and call triple zero and relay the information to me – and he did.”
Dion’s mother Bec, who was at work during the incident, said she was extremely proud of her son.
“They find with some adults, we tend to think two-steps ahead and go around in circles, whereas kids are often more direct,” Bec said.
“In Dion’s case, he gave a clear answer and allowed the operator to get a clear understanding of what was happening.”
Listening back on the recording, Dion said “it’s weird” to hear it all over again.
“It was a pretty bad burn and it was hard to watch her in so much pain,” Dion said.
“It was very lucky that I got to be nominated, I didn’t know about this award before.”
Emergency Services Minister Lisa Neville congratulated the recipients for their “outstanding efforts”.
“The bravery and courage these young Victorians show during emergencies, often involving their loved ones, is truly inspirational,” Ms Neville said.
“More than 2.5 million emergency calls are made to ESTA through the Triple Zero service every year, but the actions of these brave young Victorians in situations that would unsettle most adults deserve our recognition and praise.”
ESTA is Victoria’s emergency communications agency, receiving calls for the CFA, MFB, Victoria Police, Ambulance Victoria and Victoria SES.
ESTA CEO Marty Smyth said teaching children when and how to call triple zero is important.
“Knowing their home address can save lives,” Mr Smyth said.
“We tell parents and carers that the life a child might save could be yours.”