Composed actions of young girls commended at recent Bravery Awards

8 April 2022

Tahlia Fitch, Anzel Jansen and Misha Stolp were competing in a school football match in Ellenbrook last year when an opposing player was knocked to the ground and lay motionless after being tackled. 

With a frenzy of people surrounding the girl who were unsure how to respond to the situation, the three girls immediately rushed over to provide aid. “When we got there, no one was doing anything, they were just all trying to talk to her and surrounded her. So, we moved them out of the way and began putting her in the recovery position,” said Misha. 

Having completed their Provide First Aid qualification through Royal Life Saving WA in their Sport and Recreation Certificate II class at school, the girls began putting the training they received into practice. Moving the unconscious player into the recovery position, Misha began to move the panicked players away from the girl whilst Anzel proceeded to protect the girl’s head.

Tahlia knelt down on the grass beside the casualty, lowering her head to check the girl’s airway. “Tahlia then fully tilted the girl’s head back and I witnessed from across the oval the girl take a deep shuddering breath,” said Ian Bower, Health and Physical Education teacher at Quinn’s Baptist College.

What turned out to be a severe winding could have been much worse, with the calm composure of the girls helping the unconscious player to resume breathing. “I don’t remember thinking about anything while this was happening. All I knew was that we needed to get her onto her side so she could breathe and to make sure she’s comfortable,” said Misha. “The challenging part was to block out the conflicting advice from others and to remain calm and focused on what we needed to do.” 

The actions of the three girls were recognised at our most recent Bravery Awards, with Tahlia, Anzel and Misha receiving a Bravery Commendation for providing first aid assistance during the incident. “It felt amazing to receive the bravery award and it was an enjoyable event to hear everyone else’s stories as well and what they all went through,” said Misha. 

Daniel and Sumari Stolp, Misha’s parents, commented on the incident stating, “as parents, we felt incredibly proud to hear how calmly and confidently Misha and her friends acted in such a difficult situation. Although they still feel they played a very small part in helping the injured girl, they acted promptly and without hesitation, recalling information from their first aid training to come to her aid as first responders.” 

The first aid course undertaken by the girls ultimately prepared them for responding to this uncertain situation and had they not been there, it is unlikely that many of the bystanders would have known how to respond. “I would say it’s very important to learn first aid as soon as possible as you never know when you will be put into a situation where no one else knows what to do in a high-pressure situation to help someone in need,” said Misha.

Royal Life Saving WA commends the outstanding efforts of members of the community, who attempt to provide assistance, rescue or resuscitation during an emergency. If you know of anyone in the community who has done just this, you can nominate them for a Bravery Award at the link below:

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