EMS Providers Help Save Injured Kids

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freya whelan ems safety prevention safe kids communityWe offered a scholarship for a paramedic or EMT to receive registration and a $1,500 travel stipend at the EMS World Expo. The goal was to honor a paramedic or EMT who demonstrates excellence in the performance of emergency medical services, with their primary role being that of prehospital patient care. After reviewing many deserving applications, in 2016, we selected Freya Whalen for her outstanding work with children in the Clever, Missouri community. She worked in child safety education then moved into pre-hospital services.

Each candidate was nominated by someone they know. Freya’s colleague shared a compelling story:

Even during situations most people would back down from, Freya stays her course, treats her patients and does so with passion. On nice days, I find her in our community. Who knew children would pay attention to learning about CPR/AED use, when to call 911, and what to do in an emergency? She captures their attention and keeps it; with her education, they learn.

Freya works often with children in critical situations. She told me one day she had a crazy call, a bad one that she called the supervisor for because her partner was taking it rough and she worried for that partner and her mental health post call. It wasn’t until the following morning I found that the call she mentioned was a 4-year-old who had his skull broken by a 400-lb. wall.

The child wasn’t expected to survive. He had been in cardiac arrest when she first arrived. Freya said “I felt like the ambulance had grown wings” to get this child to the hospital as fast as possible. It was months later when we saw this boy on TV. She scared us when she jumped off the couch hollering with joy. He was alive, at home with his mother.

Freya celebrates the successes and is there to comfort the family at the hospital when everything possible has been done for a patient. She doesn’t just work at a job, she lives passionately in her career. As a mother of two, I can’t tell you how happy I am to have her in the community.

Freya added a statement to her application:

treatment at a trauma center improves chance of survival by 25 percentEmergency medical care began at a young age for me which happens when you’re a big sister to several kiddos, especially living in a remote area. The desire to help children, not just care for them when they’re sick, but to work on injury prevention is something I have grown up with and it still remains strong.

I’ve been in emergency services for five years now. Prior to that, I was a lead instructor for a children’s safety after school program. Even now furthering my own education in childhood safety and injury prevention is a huge priority.

My primary employment is in the prehospital arena. I work as part of an ALS team for a hospital-based 911 service. I assist with community CPR education, including educating the younger population as I believe they can assist. If a child has been educated on how and when to activate the emergency 911 system, as well as knowing when to get an AED and where they are, they can help save a life.

I’m also passionate about educating local providers on how they can better help with emergencies involving children, such as placement of the buckles in a car seat after an MVC. Many providers want to avoid thinking about emergencies involving pediatrics, as it is a high stress call for some doctors, but it is much less so when you’ve gained knowledge on how to treat and care for these patients.

Our closest level I pediatric trauma center is hours away, a flight or almost four hour drive. In that time we must treat and stabilize these children. The adult trauma centers do assist as well, but for some of these patients, that trip out of town to a more specialized hospital has a better outcome for them. I want to further my education, which I as an instructor and medical provider can share with my fellow responders.


GAO study proximity to trauma center


We are passionate about providing education for people like Freya that help save the lives of injured kids each and every day. We are launching another scholarship for Expo 2017 in Las Vegas, NV, for Oct. 16-20. If you are an EMS provider, you can also take our FREE pediatric airway management course and better prepare yourself for pediatric emergencies.


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