High School Hero

On an ordinary day, Dylan Porter would have stayed at school after the final bell. He’d do some homework, visit with some friends, and get ready for wrestling practice. But on this chilly day in December, he decided to swing by home. It felt like an ordinary day.

“I walked in the front door,” said Dylan, “and everything seemed normal.” He walked inside, plopped down his book bag, and smiled at his younger sisters who were playing on the living room floor. As he rounded the corner to the kitchen, he had no idea what awaited him.

Earlier that day, Dylan’s mom, Kimberly, was replacing faceplates on the living room’s electrical outlets. Before she started, she’d cut off the breakers. Confident that the outlets were safe, she began replacing them one by one. She didn’t know that one outlet was aligned on a different circuit. The outlet was still live.

“When I got shocked,” said Kimberly, “it wasn’t like the movies. There were no sparks. I didn’t go flying across the room.” Kimberly has no memory of what happened next.

That afternoon, Dylan rounded the corner into the kitchen and saw Kimberly sprawled on the kitchen floor, unconscious. Her lips had turned blue.

He immediately picked up the phone and dialed. The 911 operator answered Dylan’s call and put out at dispatch for emergency personnel. The responder closest to Dylan’s home was shopping at Bi-Mart. Her name was Tressa Miller.

By coincidence, Tressa had trained Dylan in CPR three weeks earlier at Elmira High. Tressa is one of several community-safety experts supported by FireMed. FireMed protects members from expensive ambulance or helicopter trips to the emergency room. Membership dues overflow to fire stations, paramedics, and 911 responders like Tressa.

When Tressa arrived at the scene, she found Dylan keeping his mother alive in the kitchen using the skills Tressa had taught him at Elmira High.

After the emergency, life returned to normal. Kimberly recovered. Dylan returned to school.

Then the stories began to circulate and Dylan was celebrated as a hero. Friends clapped him on the back. Admiring teachers praised his deed. In April, the Lane Fire Authority recognized Dylan for a distinguished service award.

You might think Dylan would be eager to celebrate his bravery. Not so. Dylan felt reluctant about receiving all the praise. Having his mom live, he said, was enough of an award.