A pair of Stillwater children credited with saving their neighbor after the Jeep he was working under fell on him, got a special tour of an air ambulance on Sunday.

Emma Kuehl, who turned 9 on Monday, and her brother Josh, age 7, were greeted at Stillwater Medical Center on Sunday by the same Air Methods ambulance crew that responded to their neighbor’s Jan. 26 accident. Flight nurse Michelle Humphrey and Paramedic Mark Hopping praised the children for keeping their cool and responding quickly when it counted.

“A lot of grown ups couldn’t have kept their stuff together as well as you did,” Humphrey told them.

Emma and Josh were playing outside in their backyard on that Saturday when they heard a man’s voice yelling for help, their mom Kristal Spitler said. To see what was going on, Emma dragged a metal patio chair to the privacy fence surrounding their yard and balanced on the back of it while peeking over the top of the fence.

Emma said she couldn’t see anything except the Jeep, which was on the ground, but could still hear the man’s voice so she and her brother ran into the house to get their mom.

Spitler says she had never formally met these neighbors before but she immediately went running into their house screaming for the woman who lived there.

They called 911 and the kids helped by holding their dog while the Stillwater Fire Department used a tool called the Jaws of Life, to free the man, who turned out to be their neighbor’s cousin.

Spitler says he was fortunate that the kids were playing outside when the jack holding the Jeep up collapsed. Ironically, the main reason they were playing outside was because their electronics had been taken away the night before after they acted up during a family meal at IHOP.

“When I told the neighbor that, she said, 'Thank God for rowdy kids,'” Spitler said.

In spite of the fright the situation gave everyone involved, the man was lucky enough to escape with a broken shoulder as his worst injury and was able to return home quickly.

Spitler said things could easily have turned out differently if they hadn’t been home, if the kids hadn’t been outside or if he had just been lying in a slightly different spot, which would have brought the transmission down on his head.

It was frightening, but Spitler says the man’s happy ending turned it into a positive experience for the kids. She jokes that Emma is waiting to start her book tour.

Emma says she was scared when she heard the man yelling and realized he was in danger, but she didn’t hesitate to check out the situation and go for help.

“I feel proud,” she said.

Twitter: @mcharlesNP

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