March 9, 2011 -- On Friday, March 2, 2012, Portland firefighters from Station 26 (Portsmouth/University Park) made a special appearance at an assembly at Rosa Parks Elementary School in North Portland.
Fire Lieutenant Lee and Firefighters Tyson, Kenneth and Evan presented a “hero award” to a fourth grade student in front of his proud teachers and classmates. On February 22, 2012, the young student was on his way home from school when he heard a smoke alarm alerting and smelled smoke. The boy determined the noise and smoke were coming from a home on North Wayland Avenue. He quickly jumped into action, knocking on the door of the home to attempt and alert its occupants to the danger. When no one answered his knocks, he ran home and had his mother call 9-1-1.
Firefighters from Station 26 were on-scene in just under four minutes, determining that the threat was due to a pot left on the stove when the home occupants left to run an errand at the store. The pot had overheated and ignited, and the fire melted the handle on the pot and the plastic face of the stove caught fire.
Luckily, the young student’s class had been talking about fire safety and knowing what to do to escape a fire and the importance of calling for help in an emergency.
The young student was commended by firefighters for trying to help a neighbor in need, keeping himself calm, finding a trusted adult to help call 9-1-1, and waiting in a safe spot while firefighters extinguished the fire.
Each day hundreds of thousands of calls are placed to 9-1-1 dispatch centers across the country. Many of these calls are made by young children.
Teaching Children about Calling 9-1-1
Many children know to dial 9-1-1 in an emergency, but often do not know other important information, such as their address or how to reach a parent or guardian at work. Here is some of the most important information children need to now about calling 9-1-1:
- Teach your children their names, their parents/guardians names, their home address and home phone number
- Teach your children the name of your employer and phone number
- Teach your children what an emergency is and when to call 9-1-1
- Teach your children how to hold the phone properly so that they can speak clearly to the dispatcher
- Teach your children that it is against the law to call 9-1-1 as a joke or prank
- Teach your children not to be afraid to call 9-1-1 if there is any doubt whether they should call
- Calling a parent at work before calling 9-1-1 can waste valuable time. Give them permission to call 9-1-1 if they think there is an emergency