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Melinda Hansen and SRFD Chief Daryl Dash. Photo submitted by Salt River Education

ECEC Staff Receives Life Saving Recognition from SRFD

The Salt River Fire Department recognized Melinda Hansen, health and nutritional coordinator at the Early Childhood Education Center, at the department’s annual awards and recognition banquet in December.

SRFD Captain Genaro Rocha and firefighter Joan Wood nominated Hansen for her quick response to a child who was having an allergic reaction at the ECEC.

Both Rocha and Wood noted that Hansen remained calm and acted quickly to save the child’s life when the child was going into anaphylaxis before EMS arrived.

Prior to the fire department’s arrival, Hansen contacted the child’s parent, and with the instructions from the parent, administered the child’s prescribed EpiPen injection immediately.

“With the help of the acting health assistant Danielle Wauneka and assistant program manager Deborah DeVolld, I administered the EpiPen,” said Hansen. “It worked almost instantly. Her symptoms resolved, and after a few minutes, she was sitting at the child-size table reading books and playing with blocks. It was amazing that the medication worked so quickly.”

Due to Hansen’s quick recognition of the emergency, and her response and actions under the stressful situation, she was recognized by the SRFD for Life Saving Recognition.

Hansen said she had so many emotions about receiving the award.

“When I was contacted by SRFD and notified that I was receiving a special award at their annual banquet, I didn’t know it was for this specific incident,” said Hansen. “When I accepted the award, Chief (Daryl) Dash stated that it was for my quick response to saving this child’s life. I was surprised and speechless; to be acknowledged by the Salt River Fire Department was such an honor.

“Child health and safety is so important to me, especially in my job,” continued Hansen. “I am so grateful to the Salt River Fire Department for supporting my mission and providing ongoing training for ECEC staff around safety and injury prevention. I would not have been able to respond to this child without the ongoing training I received, from not only the Salt River Fire Department, but also other Community programs. I am also thankful that I had a team of support around me that allowed me to think fast and remain calm to provide the EpiPen. I am so thankful that this child is healthy and happy. We could not have asked for a better outcome.”

ECEC can be a resource for families in need of more information about food allergies or other health and safety information. ECEC offers health and safety classes throughout the year focusing on pedestrian safety, nutrition, CPR/first aid and much more. Hansen, who has been working for the ECEC for nearly 13 years, is currently certified in both CPR/first aid instruction as well as being a car seat technician.

Parents can schedule a one-on-one visit with her or can schedule classes for families in the Community at a time convenient for them.


Rookie of the year
Riley Murph
EMT of the year
Anthony Logsdon
Paramedic of the year
Jack Bellefeuille
Firefighter of the year
Leif Lake
Engineer of the year
Daniel Schuelke
Captain of the year
Dave Schuelke
Frank J. Molina Prevention
Dustin Zamboni
Chief Stephen Maddox Award
Genaro Rocha