7-year-old calls 911, aids emergency crew after great-grandmother's fall


LEE -- Seven-year-old Tyler Wade knows how to handle a family crisis.

Within a span of 10 to 15 minutes, Tyler called 911 to report his great-grandmother 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."

"My mom is going to be really proud," the youngster said before he hung up with the dispatcher.

Lora Wade was impressed by her son's actions.

"He's always trying so hard to do the right thing," said Wade, who is on active duty with the Army Reserves. "I am surprised what children can do."

Tyler's mother is among the family members, police and emergency personnel in Lee singing the praises of how the boy dealt with the emergency situation that unfolded last week at the home of Ruth Heath.

On the icy cold morning of Feb. 12, the 77-year-old Maple Street resident was taking care of Tyler and Cameron Wade, until they 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.

"He stayed on the line -- the kid was perfect," Tyer said. "He wasn't excited and he wasn't crying."

Meanwhile, Tyler made sure Cameron got on the school bus that had arrived so he could take care of Heath, according her grandson and Tyler's father, Adam Wade.

Wade was working at Dresser-Hull Lumber and Building Supply Co. when the incident occurred.

"If [my sons] weren't there, I'm not sure who would have seen her on the ground," he said.

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.

Heath was taken to Berkshire Medical Center where the emergency department personnel put a cast on her left arm. She was released the same day and is currently staying with her daughter until the arm heals.

According to the Wades, Heath calls Tyler her "hero," but the young boy shyly dismissed the accolade, indicating he simply cares for his great-grandmother.

Tyler skipped school last Tuesday, with his father's permission, so he could be by Heath's side at BMC.

"I wanted to give Great Grams a pink rose," the youngster said.

To reach Dick Lindsay:
or (413) 496-6233.


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