A nine-year-old boy from Pacific is the newest "King County 9-1-1 Hero." When his grandmother fell unconscious, Austin Holdt called 9-1-1 to summon first responders. Yvonne Rhoades -- the 9-1-1 dispatcher who received his call -- presented the award to Austin today as King County kicked off National 9-1-1 Education Month by releasing a new storybook that teaches children how to use 9-1-1.
"Austin is an inspiration for other children in King County, and through our new storybook we hope more kids learn the how, when, and where of calling 9-1-1," said Marlys Davis, King County E-911 Program Manager.
The storybook, "Emery and the Ice Carnival," was developed by the King County E-911 Program Office. The book was unveiled today during a special reading event at Woodland Park Zoo. Kids followed along with the adventures of the book's star, Emery the Emergency Penguin, learning the fundamentals of calling 9-1-1:
- Know how: Understand exactly how to use your phone to dial 9-1-1.
- Know when: Only call 9-1-1 if there's a real emergency.
- Know where: Always know exactly where you are. Do you know the address?
"I'm glad more kids will learn how to call 9-1-1. I was scared to call but luckily my mother taught me all of the steps," said Austin Holdt. "I was proud of myself for staying calm and answering all of the questions that helped save my grandmother's life. I even remembered what kind of medication my grandma takes!"
During April, first responders will read "Emery and the Ice Carnival" to youngsters at 13 libraries around Seattle and King County. Jennifer Lemus, a Seattle Police Department 9-1-1 dispatcher who helped inspire the story, unveiled the storybook and served as the first reader at today's event.
After the library tour, "Emery and the Ice Carnival" will be available to schools and community organizations to check out from King County's E-911 Program Office. For a list of library event readings and downloadable 9-1-1 education materials, visit www.kingcounty.gov/911.
AUDIO: Austin Holdt's 9-1-1 call