Smart emergency system proves successful when boy calls 911 to report grandma’s collapse
HANCOCK COUNTY, Ind. – A little boy called 911 after his grandma collapsed and dispatchers knew within seconds exactly where he was. It's all part of a new system in Hancock County that's proving to save lives.
It was around 6 p.m. on May 1 when Kristeen Walker and her grandson, Joshua King, came back home from a hardware store. She was unloading heavy bags of mulch when she collapsed. She called out Joshua's name and when he found her in the garage, she wasn't moving or talking.
On the 911 call you can hear 7-year-old Joshua say: "My grandma's dead and I'm the only one home."
Walker said she and Joshua have practiced many times what to do in an emergency. Joshua knew right away to get his grandmas phone and call 911. What he didn't remember, like many other kids his age, was his address. He just moved there a few months ago.
On the other end of the line, the dispatcher who answered knew exactly where Joshua and his grandma were.
"By the time we answered that call, we already know where we’re going," said dispatcher Greg Duda.
Last year, Walker signed up for the new system called Smart 911. She entered important info like her address and names of the people who live with her. The dispatcher was able to communicate with Joshua quickly. He knew his name.
So far, about 10% of the people who live in Hancock County have signed up for the system.
"This story is why we got it. This story is the story that tells us the system works," said 911 director John Jokantas.
On Tuesday, Joshua was honored at the county commissioners meeting for being so brave. He also got a ride in the sheriff's car and a behind the scenes look at the 911 center.
Walker said she's thankful she signed up for the system when she did and thankful for her grandson.
"I’m so proud of him and what he did, just to be 7 years old and to know what to do," she said.
Click here to learn more about how you can sign up for Smart 911.