Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Book teaches kids to call 911 for help

A toddler in North Pole, Alaska knew to call 911 when his mother collapsed and lost consciousness during a gall bladder attack on April 10.

Tony Sharpe had learned about 911 in a book his grandmother had sent him, and made the call and reached the North Star Volunteer Fire Department. He told a dispatcher: "Mommy is sick. Mommy needs an ambulance. Mommy fell over. She is sleeping. Can you call the ambulance?" The boy then described the family's apartment building. Tony's mother Courtenay Sharpe was conscious but barely able to speak when firefighters arrived.

Her son had practiced dialing 911 countless times in one of his favorite books, It's Time to Call 911: What to do in an Emergency. The interactive book rewards its reader with a blast of emergency sirens and a cheery "good job" when 911 is punched into the key pad. The book is available from Amazon.com

"You know kids," Courtenay Sharpe said, "once they latch onto a book, they want the same story read to them over and over again. After awhile, he pretty much knew the book by heart."

The boy will be honored the fire department with a T-shirt, a plaque and a ride on a fire engine. His parents rewarded him with a much-wanted puppy, an 8-month-old mixed Golden Retriever and Labrador Retriever from an animal shelter. (info from The Associated Press)

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