BUENA PARK, Calif.—Teenage sisters who helped save the lives of strangers ejected from a car during a freeway rollover crash were recognized April 8 for their bravery.
Stephanie Roa, 17, and her 15-year-old sister, Ashley, were driving with their father on a Long Beach freeway after dark on Sept. 19, 2019, when they witnessed the crash.
Without hesitation, the girls told their father to stop and call 911. They got out of the car, searched for and found the two victims, and began rendering aid. The girls attended an Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) girl’s empowerment camp in 2019 and used the advanced life support skills they learned.
OCFA Chief Brian Fennessey praised the teens’ efforts during a special ceremony.
“For any of us that have worked on the freeways, I will tell you that is one of the most hazardous places to work,” Fennessey said. “[The sisters] each assessed the significantly injured patients, controlled their bleeding, and treated them for shock. All again while in a precarious position of being on a busy freeway at night with automobile debris everywhere.”
The girls were presented with a certificate of heroism, the highest OCFA recognition available to a citizen.
“I can’t be more proud of your courageous and decisive actions and for putting your training into practice when it was most needed,” Fennessey told them.
The department also recognized 11-year-old Travis Navarro, who was home with his mother one day when she started having a seizure and became unresponsive. Navarro calmly called 911 and explained the nature of the emergency to operators.
The department played the recording of the call during the conference and, in it, Navarro provided paramedics with his address, and answered the operator’s questions.
“You can hear through the recording just how calm he was,” Fennessey said. “I gotta tell you, Travis, at 11 years old, I don’t know that I would have been that calm if that were my mother. We’re just so proud of you.”
Navarro received a letter of commendation from the Orange County Fire Authority and a certificate from the city of Buena Park for his heroic actions and bravery.