AN INVERLOCH pre-schooler has highlighted the importance of teaching children what to do in an emergency situation after he called 000 after witnessing his mother collapse.
Oscar Slabik, aged five, was just three when he was taught by his parents, Ash and Linda, to pick up the phone and dial emergency services when something went wrong.
“We would act out pretend situations where either my husband or I were hurt and it was only him home, what he should do,” Linda first explained via a post on Ambulance Victoria’s Facebook page.
“Some of the situations we would play would be really silly but we taught him what number to ring, our address and to tell the lady or man on the phone what was happening.”
Earlier this month all of what Oscar had been taught was put into practice when Linda blacked out in the lounge room of the family’s Mariner Place home.
After suffering from flu-like symptoms during the week, Linda said she was seated on the couch when Oscar asked what toys he could play with.
“I didn’t feel well at all when I got up from where I was sitting, and knew something wasn’t right,” Linda wrote.
“I got to quickly say: ‘Remember what mummy and daddy has taught you’.
“I fell on my knees and the next thing I remember is the paramedics above me, asking if I was okay.
“All I thought about was Oscar and I wondered if he was okay.
“They told me he rung triple zero.”
After a short stay in hospital, Linda is recuperating at home and has been wearing a Holter monitor to record heart rhythms.
She said the cause of the collapse is unknown as she awaits test results.
For now, the thankful mum is simply happy to be home again with her heroic little boy.
“I’m so proud of him and I can’t stress enough how important it is to teach your child emergency procedures,” she said.
“You never know what can happen.”
An Ambulance Victoria spokesperson described Oscar’s actions as “outstanding”.
“He is a great example of the benefits of teaching all children how and when to call triple zero,” the spokesperson said.
“Oscar’s parents did a great job teaching him to call an ambulance and he has certainly assisted paramedics in what can be a scary situation for anyone.”
After posting her message on Ambulance Victoria’s Facebook page on September 8, Linda said she was immediately inundated with private messages from parents around the state.
“I received a lot of personal messages saying ‘You’ve made me think about teaching my child’,” she said.
Oscar, an avid fan of Lego and Nintendo games, said he was never scared during the incident and simply did what he’d been taught.
Using a cordless handset sitting on a nearby coffee table, Oscar said he dialled the number immediately and waited for a voice on the other end.
When queried whether the emergency required police, fire or ambulance, Oscar didn’t hesitate.
“I knew straight away I wanted an ambulance,” he recalled, smiling.
Oscar spent up to nine minutes on the phone, correctly told the operator the family’s address when asked and opened the door when paramedics arrived.
He even made an exception regarding the Slabik household’s strict ‘no-shoes’ policy.
“Oscar told me afterwards that he thought it’d be alright if the paramedics kept their shoes on because they were important,” Linda laughed.