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CERTIFICATE OF ACHIEVEMENT Canfield girl calls 911 to help her sick mother

Thursday, February 24, 2005

The little girl received a certificate for her actions.
CANFIELD -- When her mother was vomiting and incapacitated from the pain of kidney stones, 5-year-old Gia Neapolitan knew just what to do.
The kindergartner at C.H. Campbell Elementary School picked up the phone and dialed 911.
Gia described her mother's condition, confirmed her township address and rattled off her phone number for Jenny Wright, a dispatcher with the Cardinal Joint Fire District.
"I told them that my mommy had a bad stomach ache," a shy Gia explained.
She says no one taught her how to call 911, she "just knew."
"The baby was crying upstairs, and I was in a lot of pain and I guess she just got nervous," her mother, Kristina Neapolitan, said. "She asked if she should call 911, and I said OK."
Fire Chief Robert Tieche presented Gia with a certificate of achievement for her efforts.
"Gia, you're our hero," Tieche said.
The father
Gia's father, Jason, went to the hospital the evening of Jan. 30 to visit a sick grandfather.
Kristina had wanted to get a baby sitter for Gia and their 1-year-old daughter, Bella, and accompany him, but he suggested she stay home because she wasn't feeling well.
He had turned off his cell phone while in the hospital and learned from a voice mail message from his mother-in-law that his wife was coming to the hospital.
"The message was so calm, I thought she was coming up to meet me," Neapolitan said.
When he called home, Gia answered.
"She said, 'Guess where Mom is.'" before relaying the evening's events, he said.
Gia says she learned her address and phone number in school, but when her mother quizzed her, she always hesitated.
"I guess in an emergency, they know," Kristina said.
The 911 tape details the conversation between Wright and Gia, who stayed on the phone until emergency personnel arrived.
"Through the whole entire thing, Gia was very calm, cool and collected," Wright said.
Kristina said she's told her daughter many times since that night what a great job she did.
"Everyone is just really proud of her," she said. "I'm really proud of her. You always hope that your kids know what to do in an emergency, and I'm thankful that she does."
Gia's great-grandfather, Jim Neapolitan of Youngstown, also was proud of his great-granddaughter.
"She's a pretty smart girl," he said, but he said her shy behavior isn't typical.
"She usually comes up with a smart remark," he joked.