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7 year old Zion Carter is a 2nd grader at Neil Armstrong Elementary School in Richton Park. She is sweet, well mannered, and well spoken; filled with so much joy and love. She is very energetic, but also always aware of her surroundings and what's going on around her. Zion has proven that she doesn't fold under pressure and thinks critically when necessary.
Her great-grandmother, Cynthia Drake, told Zion she was having trouble breathing on May 12, and Zion knew what to do. Her mom and dad had taught her that in case of an emergency, call 911, and that's exactly what she did, promptly without hesitation.
Upon calling, Zion kept calm, and answered the dispatcher's questions the best she could. She stayed on the phone with the dispatcher for four minutes and gave all the information needed for help to arrive.
Her great-grandmother said if Zion had not been there, she believes she would not be alive today, “she’s just a special little girl to me and she’s always been.”
Dispatcher: “Your grandma’s having difficulty breathing?”
Dispatcher: “Okay, how old are you?”
Dispatcher: And where’s grandma at?”
Zion: “She's in her room, and I'm really scared.”
Dispatcher: you’re really scared? Well I think you’re being really brave because you’re calling.”
Zion: I'm scared. I don’t want anything to happen to her”.
Dispatcher: Of course you don’t want anything to happen to her.”
Richton Park Fire Chief Mick Smith and the entire department was so proud of Zion, they surprised her with a special escort to her school, and was greeted by school teachers and staff. “To listen to the call and hear how calm she was. I just thought how brave she was, She knew everything that she needed to know, and showed strength beyond her years on that 911 call.
Zion was honored at the next Richton Park Village Board Meeting for her bravery, where she was presented both a special plaque and proclamation. But the greatest reward for the seven year old didn’t come in the form of a package or a plaque but from an embrace with her family.