04/11/2012 09:40 pm ET

10-Year-Old Cynthia Almendarez From Virginia Calls 911 And Saves Toddler's Life By Translating CPR Instructions

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The calm and quick action of a 10-year-old girl from Alexandria, VA., saved the life of a toddler when she called 911 and relayed crucial emergency medical instructions to her mother in Spanish, NBC News reports.

Last June, Cynthia Almendarez noticed that her nephew Christopher was having trouble breathing. According to, the 2-year-old toddler was suffering from an infection and desperately needed medical attention.

With a composure well beyond her years, Almendarez called 911. Speaking to the emergency dispatcher, the fifth-grader translated CPR instructions from English to Spanish for her mother, Maria Almendarez, who was then able to keep Christopher breathing until the ambulance arrived.

"I was a little bit scared but I knew I had to stay calm so I controlled it," Almendarez told NBC News.

Cheryl Dean, the emergency dispatcher who was on the other end of that fateful 911 call, expressed amazement at Almendarez's bravery.

"You don't get a lot of children that are able to handle calls," she said, adding that the little girl is "exceptional".

In recognition of her heroism, Almendarez has received a commendation from Fairfax County's Board of Supervisors, as well as the '9-1-1 for Kids' award in honor of her "extraordinary" role in impacting lives.

Roy Oliver, assistant director of Fairfax County's department of public safety communications, said that he hopes the little girl's story will inspire both Virginia's children and Hispanic community, whose members can sometimes be afraid of calling 911, reports.

Though dubbed a hero in her community, Almendarez has stressed that she only cares that her nephew "is still here."