REDMOND, WASH. – On Tuesday, June 16 at 7:30 p.m. at Redmond City Hall, the Redmond City Council, Mayor, Fire District 34 Commissioners, Fire Chief, and Medic One Foundation honored three young girls and awarded them with official hero medals for showing extraordinary bravery in saving their friend Isabella by performing life-saving CPR in addition to calling 911 and running for help.

12-year-old Isabella and her three friends were walking around a lake near their homes in April when Isabella collapsed. Immediately, friends Jesse, Hana and Bella sprang into action, calling 911 and performing CPR on their lifeless friend, saving her life. Last night, the City of Redmond recognized the bravery of these young girls, honoring each of them with an official hero medal in a ceremony held at Redmond’s City Hall. The Redmond City Council, Mayor, Fire District 34 Commissioners, Fire Chief and Medic One Foundation were all there to present the three girls with their awards.

Isabella had a pre-existing heart condition for which she was already scheduled to have a heart valve replacement surgery when she collapsed in April. Aware of Isabella’s condition, Jesse, Hana and Bella knew immediately what steps to take to save their friend’s life that fateful day. Hana ran to notify the parents while Bella called 911 and began performing CPR as the operator gave her instructions over the phone. Recently CPR certified through a program at her school; Jesse took over doing compressions for Bella until adults arrived on the scene. This CPR bought Isabella’s heart vital extra minutes, allowing Redmond paramedics and EMTs time to arrive.

“There is no denying the critical role citizen CPR played in keeping Isabella alive until paramedics were able to arrive on the scene,” said Jan Sprake, Executive Director of the Medic One Foundation. “The training these young women received, along with the world-class paramedic training professionals were able to apply once they arrived made the difference for Isabella and her family.”

King County has one of the highest survival rates for sudden cardiac arrest in the world. Within King County, Redmond has been at the forefront of the effort to further enhance those odds. Innovators in what has become known as “High Performance CPR,” fire fighters and paramedics train meticulously and regularly, carefully choreographing their approaches when responding to situations like Isabella’s.

Stations 14 and 18 responded to the girls’ 911 call, arriving on the scene quickly, and thanks in large part to the detail Bella was able to provide the 911 operator about their location. Eighteen minutes after the first units arrived on scene, Isabella departed for Seattle Children’s Hospital. It had been less than 30 minutes since her heart stopped, and while she now had a life-sustaining heartbeat, her condition remained extremely critical. Nine days later, Isabella had open-heart surgery to replace her faulty heart valve. Later that week she returned home.

The most important moments in a cardiac arrest patient’s chain of survival occur with the arrival of a bystander- in this case, Isabella’s friends, Jesse, Hana, and Bella. The sophistication of the girls’ response – dividing tasks, having two people perform CPR and dial 911 while another ran to notify their parents– is truly remarkable.