A nine-year-old girl has set her sights on becoming a paramedic after she performed lifesaving CPR on her mum with the help of an emergency dispatcher.

When Charli Johnson’s mum, Sharon, fainted as a result of a viral infection while the pair were home alone in July, the young girl knew exactly what to do next.

“I checked if she was awake and still breathing, and I went and called trip-0,” Charli said.

“I thought something was wrong so I knew what to do.”

At the start of the call to the Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS), emergency medical dispatcher Anne Barklimore can be heard asking for Charli’s suburb and name, to which she replied, “Helensvale, Charli”.

During the call, Charli told Ms Barklimore that her mum had stopped breathing.

“She just kneeled to the ground and she just fainted,” Charli said.

“Is she awake?” Ms Barklimore asked.

“No, I don’t think so. I think she just stopped breathing,” Charli said.

Ms Barklimore then talked Charli through how to perform CPR, and the pair counted the pumps together.

With Ms Barklimore’s guidance over the phone, Charli performed chest compressions on her mother for about 17 minutes.

“One, two, three four – that’s the speed you’re going Charli. You’re doing a great job,” Ms Barklimore told Charli during the call.

“You are doing such a good job Charli, and that you knew to call triple-0, I am so proud of you … and your mum is going to be so proud of you.”

Ms Johnson can then be heard crying after regaining consciousness.

Charli said that Ms Barklimore’s instructions were helpful, but that performing CPR was still a challenge, especially on her mum.

“It was a bit scary, especially doing it on my mum,” she said.

Ms Barklimore said she recognised Charli was young from the first moment she heard her voice and praised her for her calm composure.

“She answered the questions calmly and directly – that’s so important,” she said.

“I was proud. As a mother, I just thought, ‘She’s nine and she doesn’t know what’s happened to her mum’. 

“She held it together. So many older people don’t have that composure — it was quite surprising.

“She saved her mum’s life that day.”

Gavin Nichols, one of the first paramedics to arrive on the scene, said it was unusual to see a young person performing CPR on their mum, and that seeing a child know to call triple-0 and provide information clearly and directly was an important lesson for other families.

“You don’t know when you’re going to have your emergency,” he said.

“So it’s really important to have your friends and family aware of what to do when that emergency happens.”

Charli was honoured for her bravery and composure by the QAS on Friday morning, receiving a teddy bear dressed in a paramedic uniform and an award.

Her mum said she was “very proud” of her daughter, who says she now wants to be a paramedic so she can teach other kids how to do CPR.

“I’m surprised Charli did what she did,” Ms Johnson said.

“We’d gone over our address, my phone number — we hadn’t actually done it for a while, but she’s obviously retained it.

“She’s a bit of a ratbag at home, so she did surprise me.”

To hear the full recording of Charli’s call to triple-0, head here.

Image: Twitter

This article first appeared on OverSixty.