Thursday, August 13, 2009

4-year-old to get 911 hero award

There has been nothing to post lately except bad news, which I am even tired of reading. I found this Good News Story today and thought it was worth a read.

By Bronwyn Turner / Daily News Correspondent

SANTA FE — Kindergartner Joshua Rudolph will get a “911 Hero” award for how he calmly handled his grandfather’s accident and got him help.Robert Rudolph, 66, is out of the hospital and recovering from a gash in his thigh, the result of a lawn-mowing accident that could have been fatal if his 4-year-old grandson had not called 911.

Photo by Jennifer Reynolds

Kindergartner Joshua Rudolph

“Can we get, can we get a rescue people to come out here ’cause my Paw Paw’s (hurt) bad,” kindergartner Joshua Rudolph told the 911 operator Saturday, according to the phone transcript. Joshua made the call on his mother’s flip-style cell phone after he saw his grandfather wave a bloody hand for help.

Rudolph, a former diesel mechanic, was carefully guiding his riding lawn mower along a fence line when a timber-sized sign post jutting into his path, but out of his vision, caught him and pinned him. A heart patient on blood thinners, Rudolph was bleeding severely and trapped in his seat.

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“I saw Josh was looking at where I was at, and it was too far away to holler,” said Rudolph, speaking from a chair in the shaded patio beside his home Wednesday morning. “So I held my hand up, and blood was dripping down it.”

Rudolph was among a crew of six adults working on a large lawn assignment in rural Santa Fe as part of the family business, called “The Motley Crew.” Their motto is “Dirty deeds done dirt cheap.”

His daughter, Bobbie Smith, owner of the business, was working with a weed-eater on one side of the home. Her sister, Angela McCoy, was working with Raymond Sauceda, T.J. McCoy and Maggie Montegut on other assignments — all at a distance from Rudolph and all involving loud power lawn care tools.

Josh was assigned to stay on the patio and be ready to pick up trash. He earns a small allowance and an occasional ice cream cone when working with the family.

Smith, who had worked as a contract laborer for area plants, started the lawn care, handyman and cleaning business three months ago as a project to help her survive the recession. She was careful to teach her son the logistics of 911 calls.

“I told him Paw Paw has heart trouble so if I’m not around, he could take care of it,” she said.

Josh was quick to follow the drill when he saw his grandfather’s wave for help.

He called 911, asking for help, while running the phone to his mother.

“911’s on the phone,” he told her as he handed her the phone.

While paramedics were en route, Smith and her crew were able to free Rudolph and lay him down on the ground, applying pressure to the bleeding wound.

Rudolph lost four cups of blood but could have lost far more if Josh had not sounded the alarm.

“If it weren’t for him, I’m sure I’d be dead right now,” Rudolph said. “He’s my hero.”

The Galveston County Emergency Communication District plans to give Joshua a “911 Hero Award” in recognition of his coolheaded response.

“He did good,” Executive Director Bobby Wright said. “He recognized things were not right with his grandfather and he needed help.”

Joshua’s story illustrates a lesson Wright has taught throughout his 20 years with the district. Don’t hesitate to call in an emergency.

“If you think you need to call 911, just do it,” he said.


Details to note

•The Galveston County Emergency Communication District, located in Dickinson, posts educational information on its Web site, For information, call 409-935-3911.

•They advise instructing children to describe the emergency to 911 dispatchers, so ambulances or fire crews can be sent out right away if neededand to give a location, if possible.

This story is available through KHOU, Ch. 11's partnership with The Galveston County Daily News.

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