Firefighters reward kid for quick-thinking in emergency, build bikes for others

Xavier, 7, received a new bike as a reward for when he called 911 and calmly reported his mother was “on the floor unresponsive”

By Tess Sheets
Orlando Sentinel

ORLANDO — Xavier Ellis’ jaw dropped when Orlando Fire Chief Roderick Williams wheeled out the black and red Mongoose bicycle. Pegs were mounted on the back wheel and a shiny blue helmet hung from the handlebar.

“A new bicycle,” the wide-eyed 7-year-old said. “Now I can donate my old bike.”

Xavier was gifted the new wheels Tuesday, while about a dozen Orlando firefighters were building bikes for kids in the Reeves Terrace neighborhood as part of the annual Wheels for Kids drive.

Xavier doesn’t live in the Orlando Housing Authority neighborhood near Bumby Avenue, but firefighters invited him to their downtown station during the event for what he thought was a tour of the facility.

Instead, they revealed one of the newly built bikes was for him.

The gift was an award for his actions Nov. 27, when he called 911 and calmly reported his mother was “on the floor unresponsive,” and then that she was seizing. The 911 dispatcher told Xavier paramedics were on the way and asked the boy to monitor when his mom wakes up.


Today firefighters dedicated their time to help build dozens of free bikes for kids in our community this holiday.

Posted by Orlando Fire Department on Tuesday, December 18, 2018

“Mom, are you there?” Xavier is heard saying in audio released by OFD. “Mom, help is on the way.”

The 7-year-old was able to tell dispatchers his full address, including his apartment number, and that his mother suffers from a medical condition. Williams said that helped save her life.

“Young kids are actually... the best callers,” said Danette Jameson, assistant communications manager for OFD. “They follow instructions. They do not understand the gravity of the situation, so they’re usually a lot calmer and they’re easier to get the information out of that we need.”

Copyright 2018 Orlando Sentinel


The wait is over! We’re rolling this morning distributing the 90 bikes we built to deserving children in our community. #HappyHolidays

Posted by Orlando Fire Department on Friday, December 21, 2018

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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