Young hero Rita LawlorABC7

A seven-year-old Florida girl became a hero last year when she saved her mom’s life, after slapping her in the face with a slice of pizza.

The Sarasota County Fire Department thanked the department and civilians who saved a life last year at an awards ceremony. The youngest of the honorees was Rita Lawlor.

She explained to ABC7 that she couldn’t wake her mom up. She said “I called 911, but first I slapped her with a piece of pizza."

Lawlor told the crowds at the ceremony what happened when she made the call. She explained “They did ask where I lived and my number, and I had to tell them what kind of house and I had to stand outside on the lawn and I saw the ambulance coming.”


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Firefighter and paramedic Chris Zengel said, “As we pulled up on the scene we noticed there was a little girl standing on the front of the drive way standing by a van. She had the telephone in her hand. 

"We walked up and said 'are you the one who called 911?' And as we walked up she started telling us what was going on. She couldn't wake up her mom. She kept trying to wake her up and just couldn't wake her up, so she called 911.”

Thankfully, Rita’s mom is now fully recovered. Also, the seven-year-old was thrilled with the goodybag she received as an award.

Also honored at the event were the firefighters and paramedics who responded to the home of Burt Wizeman. His stepdaughter Rachel had been electrocuted. Rachel took a 120-volt shock at 50 amps, causing her heart to go into fibrillation.

Sandra Anderson, one of the firefighters and paramedics, said, “It's heart-warming, because it's not often we get to see the outcome of our efforts and this is one of those rare incidences that we do.”

Lifeguard Terese Phillips was also honored for saving the lives of a mother and two children.

Here’s the ABC7 video: