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Third grader recognized for saving his grandmother’s life

Brandon Belk, 8, a third grader at Benton Heights Elementary School of the Arts, was recognized by the Monroe Fire Department as a Shining Star because of his actions in seeking help for his injured grandmother. Pictured, at left, is Monroe Fire Chief Ron Fowler and Brandon’s grandmother, Judy Dillehay of Monroe, seated at right.

Union County Public Schools student Brandon Belk is being called a hero. What makes this so extraordinary is he’s only 8 years old.

A third grader at Benton Heights Elementary School of the Arts, Brandon was honored today (Nov. 10, 2011) by the Monroe Fire Department and named a “Shining Star” for his actions in calling 911 on Oct. 18, 2011, to seek help for his injured grandmother, Judy Dillehay of Monroe.

Brandon is credited with saving his grandmother’s life after she fell down a flight of stairs at her home and suffered a head injury.

“I was trying to balance some dishes and wasn’t holding on to the rails,” she said. “That was not a safe thing for me to do. I fell head first down about 11 steps. When I hit the bottom, I touched my head and that’s when I saw all the blood.”

Brandon quickly called 911, telling the operator his name, address and that “My grandma is lying at the foot of the steps and her head is bleeding. Please send somebody fast!”

Having undergone heart surgery this past February, Dillehay is on blood thinners. This only exacerbated the bleeding of her head wound. “I lost quite a bit of blood,” she said. “They had to give me two units of blood and 20 staples.”

The entire third grade at Benton Heights was called into an assembly where Monroe Fire Chief Ron Fowler and four other firefighters were waiting. Brandon didn’t know he was the reason for the visit.

“Brandon Belk did something very special,” Fowler told the students. “It could have been a very serious situation had Brandon not called 911. The fact that he knew to call and give the pertinent information was very beneficial in his grandmother’s care.”

Fowler presented Brandon with a plaque naming him a Shining Star for his heroic actions. “I know your grandmother appreciates it and we appreciate it, and we’re all very proud of you,” Fowler told Brandon during the presentation.

He spoke to students about the proper procedure in calling 911. Students need to be able to tell the operators their name, address, phone number and a description of the emergency, he said. “It’s very important that you know how to do that,” he added.

“I want everyone to understand and learn from this,” he said of Brandon’s actions. “If you ever need a firefighter or a police officer or an ambulance, don’t hesitate to call 911 and tell them what you need,” he said.

Fowler also spoke to students on such fire safety issues as having smoke detectors in their homes and making sure they are in working order. He also told them to have fire drills at their homes and to know where the family is supposed to meet in case of a fire.
 

Written by: Deb Coates Bledsoe, UCPS Communications Coordinator
Posted: Nov 10, 2011 by Deb Coates Bledsoe

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