On Monday, May 24, the Mid-America Regional Council’s Public Safety Communications Program and the Johnson County Emergency Communications Center honored 9-year-old Bekkah Suraud for demonstrating the proper use of 911 in an emergency. She received the award during a special ceremony at the Johnson County Emergency Communications Center in Olathe.
On the evening of May 2, 2021, 9-year-old Bekkah realized that her neighbor’s dog was out of her yard. When Bekkah entered her neighbor’s home to return the dog, she found her neighbor was experiencing a medical emergency. Bekkah quickly grabbed the neighbor’s cell phone. Finding the phone locked, she knew to use the emergency button on the cell phone to call 911. She was able to clearly and calmly explain that her neighbor was incoherent. She remained calm and provided complete and accurate location information. Pictured with Bekkah is Trey Glidewell, 911 dispatcher, who took her call.
“Emergencies are often emotional and stressful events,” said Mike Daniels, operations manager for MARC’s Regional Public Safety Communications Program. “Even though her neighbor was ill, with no other adult to assist, Bekkah displayed a degree of calm and composure that is rarely witnessed in events such as these, especially in someone so young,” added Daniels.
MARC’s Regional 911 Hero Award program recognizes young people who demonstrate knowledge of the proper use of 911 by performing heroic action during an emergency. To receive the award, the child must have initiated the 911 call and performed a heroic act during the emergency that resulted in saving a life, significantly reducing property loss or stopping a crime.