McCordsville Boy Uses Cellphone 911 Service To Save Grandmother
Three minutes. Just three minutes changed Joshua King’s life forever. But it could have been a very different three minutes if his grandmother Kristeen Walker had not spent the previous three months practicing with Joshua what to do in case of an emergency. And the outcome might have been very different if Kristeen, a McCordsville resident, had not taken a few minutes out of her life to sign up for Smart 911.
Kristeen loves having Joshua live with her. The two spend evenings swimming at the neighborhood pool, they play games and Joshua loves running errands with his grandma. On the evening of May 1, Kristeen and Joshua had just returned from the hardware store from picking up 25, 50-pound bags of mulch.
“When I set the last bag down, I remember feeling funny, so I went to sit down inside my truck. I immediately knew I was in trouble and I called out to Joshua for help,” Kristeen says. Joshua ran to his grandmother and called her name, but she did not answer.
Thankfully, Kristeen had recently signed up for the Smart 911 system and “just in case” they practiced the steps he would need to take in the event something happened to her. Joshua’s training kicked in and he dialed 911. Dispatcher Greg Duda answered the call and heard Joshua’s voice exclaim, “My grandma’s dead and I am the only one here.”
Because of the Smart 911 System, Duda was able to have important details about Kristeen and speak quickly to Joshua by name and help him find the address on his mailbox. From the time the call started until help was dispatched, it was only three minutes until McCordsville Police officers arrived on the scene. Kristeen was unconscious but still breathing and within minutes was on her way to the hospital. Within 24 hours, Kristeen was released from the hospital to care for Joshua.
Hancock County is the only county in the state of Indiana to have this system in place. When you do a Google search for Smart 911, there is a link for “Smart 911 Availability” which shows that the only option is Hancock County. Lucky for Kristeen and Joshua, but perhaps a bit surprising that it is not available anywhere else in the state.
There is a link to request this program in your zip code. There are three options, 1) to create your safety profile, 2) to click on a link to let Smart 911 know that you would like to bring this program to your area and 3) to click on a link to find out how you can encourage your community to get Smart 911 and sign up for an email list.
One 7-year old hero and his grandmother that will be forever grateful that they live in a county that offers this program. John Hokantas, 911 Director, recognized Joshua at the County Commissioner’s Office.
“This story is why we got it. This story is the story that tells us the system works,” he says.
“Without a doubt, Joshua is my hero,” Kristeen beams tearfully.
Joshua is just grateful to have spent the summer running around with his grandma at his side, swimming, reading books, laughing and more.
The county reports that only 10 percent or 3,500 households in Hancock County have signed up for the program. So please take a moment to visit smart911.com and fill out a profile regardless of whether you live in Hancock County. Share this story and encourage everyone you know in Indiana to request the program. Three minutes could be a matter of life and death for you and your family.