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911 dispatcher praises 4-year-old Aurora girl for emergency call


Audio from Jensen's 911 call

Audio from Jensen's 911 call, Part 2

5 ‘how to’s’
for teaching kids safety

Teach them when to dial 911. Emphasize that this emergency number will get the police, fire department or ambulance to their exact location if there is a medical emergency, a fire or a safety issue, such as a robbery. Make a list of possible scenarios that are appropriate to dial 911 with your children.

Make sure your children know the address of your home in case of emergency. If they can read, write it down with them and put it in a place they can easily refer to if the need arises.

Share your family escape plan with your children regarding fires and other natural disasters that can occur where you live. Practice the plan with your children so they can get a better idea of what to do if a similar scenario occurs. Establish a family meeting place outside of the house.

Make sure children know where the first aid kit is and how to use everything in it. A basic first aid kit should have bandages, antiseptic wipes, gauze, tweezers and an instant ice pack.

Explain to your children what to do if they drink poison accidentally and how they should call poison control immediately. Post this number where they can easily refer to it in the future. Make sure that you keep all household chemicals out of their reach to prevent this.

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Updated: October 29, 2012 6:30AM

Livia Jensen has been bouncing around this good earth for only four years. But the preschooler, who lives on the far East Side of Aurora and made big news for the way she responded to a tense 911 medical emergency, is a lot older than the number of candles she’ll have on her cake for her fifth birthday next month.

Jill Schmidt, the emergency dispatcher who took the call Sunday afternoon, said she had “never seen anything like it” in the 24 years she’s worked for the Aurora Police Department.

When she answered the 911 call, Schmidt said, the youngster calmly told her, “My mom needs help.”

“She was amazing,” Schmidt said Wednesday afternoon, soon after meeting little Livia in person. “She stayed so calm, so in control. Then, after the crisis had passed and help had arrived, I heard her say in the background, ‘I did it, Mom!’

“That’s when I about lost it.”

Check out our website,, to hear for yourself why this veteran dispatcher was so blown away by Livia’s 911 call after her mother, Diana Jensen, who has been battling lupus for 10 years, was hit with a bout of pain so intense that she fell to the floor, unable to get up or even speak.

Livia’s first couple of calls actually went to “Grams.” That’s Dorothy Anderson of Naperville, who was there for the birth of the little girl and, according to Jensen, “has been like a mother, nurse, friend” as she’s battled lupus these last 10 years.

Livia had been taught to make the call to Anderson, who only lived about 10 minutes away. “But I was in the backyard,” she said, and didn’t get the calls. That’s when Livia dialed 911.

In the tape, the little girl chats matter-of-factly with Schmidt, answering those first critical questions with poise; then calmly serving as the go-between for Schmidt and her mother, who was only able to respond with whimpers.

It was such an extraordinary encounter, after Livia’s mom was treated and released from the hospital, Schmidt just had to meet this little girl.

Also on hand for that meeting Wednesday was a throng of media folks — from television, radio and newspapers — who knew a good story when one came calling.

But as reporters and cameramen swarmed around Livia, it became delightfully obvious the Fox Valley’s latest hero was first and foremost, a little kid. She was a little shy, a little coy, a little mischievous, especially when she squeezed the foam on a TV microphone, then smiled impishly at the crowd in front of her.

Diana Jensen, a single mom who also has a 19-year-old son, said her daughter was plenty excited when she learned on Monday she was going to be on TV and in newspapers. Livia’s flouncy new purple-and-blue print dress — the one she would wear with tights and brown-and-pink cowboy boots — hung on the back of her bedroom door for two days in anticipation.

And the interview with the first TV station went fine on Wednesday. The reporter got some good stuff, including the little girl proudly telling him her name, Livia Devine, means “Divine Protector.” But when the second station stepped in and planted her by the telephone, then attached a microphone pack on her back, Jensen could tell her daughter had had enough.

The press conference in the park across the street from her house on Aurora’s far East Side held Livia’s attention for about 45 seconds. Then she was off and running, climbing the monkey bars and scaling the big rock.

Even after the TV trucks and strangers had gone, Livia much preferred her Care Bear game on Anderson’s iPhone to visiting with the last reporter standing.

I tried to get the yet-uncovered scoop. But despite those probing questions, all I got were big smiles and shrugs.

Just like a typical preschooler. But her mom and an impressed 911 dispatcher know differently.

“I’ll never forget her,” Schmidt said.

“She’s had to go through a lot of grown-up situations. She did what she was taught to do,” said Jensen, who has seen her world change dramatically since the lupus diagnosis. “I always tell Livia, ‘Do you know why I know God loves me? Because he picked me to be your mommy.’

“She is a gift.”

Even at 4, Livia is one for the ages.

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