A 13-year-old boy, Marcus McCoy, received a meritorious service award for his heroic efforts during his family’s house fire that left him trapped, along with his young sister, in an upstairs bedroom. The boy phoned 911 and was able to remain calm enough to provide directions for the firefighters to locate the siblings. Meanwhile, he followed the 911 operator’s instructions exactly and was also able to inform his mother to leave the home.
Fox News reports that the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Station 832 held a celebration in honor of the many heroes from the fire rescue. Fire Chief Marc Bashoor says that the 911 operator, rescuing firefighters and the frightened young Marcus were all heroes that day and that the boy’s efforts to remain calm during the terrifying experience was key to getting firefighters to the right place to perform the rescue.
In the harrowing 911 call, you can listen as Marcus phones the 911 operator to ask for help. The boy says the room is very dark and smoky and that the hallway is incredibly hot. The 911 operator attempts to get the children out of the home, but tells them to stay put once she learns the hallway is too hot for exit. Marcus informs the dispatcher that he is in the room with his 9-year-old sister Aaliyah and says they need help fast, as it is hard to breath.
The operator gives Marcus specific instructions such as placing towels or sheets under the door and slightly cracking the bedroom window. Marcus follows the instructions while trying to keep his young sister calm as she screams, “We’re going to die.” The brother tells her not to say that and has her lay close to the ground and close her eyes to calm her fears.
The firefighters say that Marcus’ actions provided them with the detailed information they needed to quickly get the children from the home. Without those instructions, things could have been much worse. Lt. Kenneth Ward was the first to reach the scared children and says that he dreams of moments like that when everyone makes it out safely.
“If you’re a firefighter, you dream for moments like this.”
Not only did Marcus follow the instructions of the operator throughout the phone call, he also was able to inform the dispatcher when firefighters shattered the wrong bedroom window. Marcus then directed the firemen to the correct window where the rescue was performed.
[Image Credit: Fox News]