GARDENDALE, Ala. --
The gym inside Gardendale High School erupted with applause Thursday morning after Ajah Robinson, Anthonia Anwah and Aiyana Hines were introduced to the crowd. Gardendale Mayor Stan Hogeland presented the three seniors a proclamation following their bravery after the Galleria shooting on Thanksgiving night.
The three seniors went to the mall that night for Black Friday shopping. While on the escalator, they heard shots ring out.
"I immediately looked down because I wanted to see what everyone was doing, and they were running," Anwah said. "The ground was shaking, and it was just crazy. It was like ants."
Anwah got separated from the rest of the group, but they eventually met up at their car inside the parking deck. While heading down from the third floor to the second floor of the deck, they saw a woman on the ground and unconscious. Anwah stopped the car and the three students who are part of Gardendale's sports medicine program sprung into action.
"She was laying on the cold concrete, and we had to do our 45 degree lift, which is when someone grabs C-Spine and someone else lifts up her back while someone else puts something under them or takes off their clothes," Hines said. "I put a bunch of jackets and blankets under her because it was really cold outside, and the concrete was cold."
The three stabilized the woman and secured her until paramedics arrived. The girls say she suffered head trauma and multiple hip fractures, but is expected to recover. They add that they train every Thursday before football games in the event of an emergency, and even though the situation was different, their training went to good use.
"Since football season just ended, it was pretty much just repetition right there," Anwah said. "If a player is on the ground, I am the first one on the field. Then, afterwards, it is usually one of the coaches or senior trainers. I did not think I did something great. It was just something that I was trained for, and I know what to do. I have been doing it for a little bit. It was another day for me, another Friday night."
"After the situation happened and we were heading home, it kind of just hit that we almost lost our life, but we helped somebody in the process," Robinson said. ""With real life situations, it is just going to come one day. It is just that ours came while we were in high school."