LEE -- A local Cub Scout has garnered national recognition for his quick action a year ago today that helped his great-grandmother recover from a serious fall.
Eight-year-old Tyler Wade recently received the Medal of Merit from the Boy Scouts of America National Council -- usually given to a Boy Scout or BSA adult leader -- who performed a potential life-saving act at little or no risk to the scout.
Within a span of 10 to 15 minutes on Feb. 12, 2013, Tyler called 911 to report Ruth Heath had fallen outside her home and couldn't get up, put his younger brother on the school bus and sanded the driveway so rescuers wouldn't slip helping his "Great Grams," as he calls her.
Tyler, a member of Cub Scout Pack 45, was in uniform when the medal was pinned on him at the BSA Western Mass Council Leadership Recognition Dinner held in Chicopee on Saturday.
"It's usually not given to someone as young as Tyler," said Joshua Hall, BSA district commissioner for Berkshire County who nominated the youngster for the award.
According to the BSA website, on average 93 of the medals have been handed out since they were first awarded in 1946. Tyler's parents, Adam and Lora Wade, along with Heath and other family members, were on hand for Saturday's ceremony, beaming with pride over the youngster being honored.
"It's a big confidence booster for an 8-year-old," said Adam Wade. "He's very humble and doesn't talk about it much."
Tyler's actions on that icy February morning have spoken louder than words.
Heath, 77, was taking care of Tyler and Cameron Wade at her Maple Street home in Lee, until the boys boarded the bus for Lee Elementary School. Shortly after 8 a.m., Heath went outside to salt and sand the walkway and as she was returning to the house, she slipped and fell, breaking her left arm.
Still conscious, Heath yelled for Tyler to call 911, which he immediately did at 8:11 a.m., according to Lee police records.
Tyler told dispatcher Donna Tyer what happened and calmly answered her questions so she could provide police and the Lee Ambulance Service accurate information of the emergency situation.
After hanging up with the 911 dispatcher, Tyler spread more sand on the walkway and driveway to prevent the responding police officer and ambulance crew from falling as well. Tyler also made sure Cameron got on the school bus when it arrived, while he stayed behind to wait for emergency personnel.
Heath was taken to Berkshire Medical Center, where the emergency department personnel put a cast on her left arm. However, the woman went through several months of physical therapy and has almost fully recovered, according to Adam Wade.
Only two years into scouting, Wade says his son already has his sights set on becoming an Eagle Scout -- Boy Scouting's highest honor and a rank only 5 percent of all Boy Scouts achieve, according to the BSA.
"It's too early to tell how successful Tyler will be [in scouting], but if he sticks with it, he has potential," said Scout Executive David Kruse, of the BSA Western Mass Council.
To reach Dick Lindsay:
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