Teaching children 911 could save lives - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Posted by: Joe Birch, 9/29/04 8:59pm

Teaching children 911 could save lives

WMC's Crime Tracker has found a Memphis hero--and he's only seven-years-old. It's proof positive that training your children to use 911 might help save a life, maybe yours.

Boys ages seven, six, and four--like brothers Kendrick, Malachi and Cameron play--super heroes.

"I never thought I'd be a hero. I thought that was just TV, not for real," said young Kendrick Helton.

Kendrick became a hero, when mom Ranada fell unconscious one morning last week in the family's new apartment at the Reserve at Dexter Lake. Ranada suffers from a seizure disorder.

"He knew what to do. He made sure that I was on my side. Made sure that I was breathing. He and my other son got a pillow and put my head on a pillow," she said.

Kendrick dialed 911:

Dispatcher: "...Where's your mother right now?

Kendrick: "She's on the ground?

Dispatcher:She's on the floor?

Kendrick: "yes."

Kendrick connected with Sheriff's Department 911 dispatcher Rhonda Davis.

"He did stay calm and he tried to keep his brothers calm while he was trying to get his mother some help," Davis said.

Kendrick had yet to memorize the address of his family's new home, so dispatcher Davis first tried to get Kendrick to find some bills with the new address on it. No luck, but there was still hope.

"I asked him to go to his mother's purse and find his mother's drivers license and give me the address," said Davis.

Kendrick delivered, but the license still had the family's old Bartlett address.

"She told me to go outside and yell for help then she told me to knock on somebody's door," Kendrick said. With baby brother crying, Kendrick assured him while venturing out. Kendrick found a neighbor who gave the address and checked on mom.

Sheriff Mark Luttrell says Kendrick's call is a textbook case of how 911 is supposed to work. Parents who have train children for emergencies and dispatchers who know how to talk to children in crisis.

"Parents need to teach their children 911. The three most important numbers: 911," Luttrell said.

Kendrick says he's always known lawmen such as firefighters and paramedics are heroes, "but I didn't know kids can help. But I just helped because I love my Mom," he said, sitting next to his mother.

Sheriff Luttrell encourages families to do drills on what to do in case of an emergency. The Sheriff says we should start training children to use 911 as soon as they start talking.

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