‘Great feeling as a father’: Fla. FF's daughter, 8, helps save a life

Polk County Fire Rescue Engineer/EMT Chris Varner's daughter Paisley called 911, then her dad, to ask how to help the unconscious adult before EMS arrived

Alison Cutler
The Charlotte Observer

BARTOW, Fla. — When Engineer/EMT Chris Varner answered his phone on July 18, his 8-year-old daughter was on the line. But the next words out of her mouth weren’t about school, dinner — or anything else a family often talks about at the end of the day.

There was an adult having a medical emergency at the house in Florida, his daughter Paisley told Varner, and they were unresponsive.

Varner stayed on the line with his daughter, who was at a home in Polk County with her younger sister and an adult who was unconscious, according to a news release from the Polk County Fire Rescue. Paisley told Varner that she had called 911 before calling him, and EMS was on the way.

“The fact that Paisley contacted 911 by herself and then quickly turned her attention to what she needed to do to save a life is a great feeling as a father,” Varner said.

Paisley asked her father what she could do to help the adult before help arrived, according to the release, and added that she was prepared to perform CPR before first responders got to the house if needed.

Help arrived just minutes later, Varner said, and the adult made a full recovery.

Varner has worked with the Polk County Fire Rescue since 2015 and his daughter was able to watch him participate in training classes as a firefighter.

Now, the rescue has deemed Paisley a “next generation hero.”

“The care Paisley displayed for someone that was in need and her concern for helping someone else experiencing a medical emergency is an amazing thing,” the fire rescue said. “Awesome work Paisley.”

Polk County is about 55 miles east of Tampa.


©2022 The Charlotte Observer

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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