North Versailles boy, officer lauded for life-saving 911 call
By Stacy Lee
Published: Thursday, March 14, 2013, 4:56 a.m.
Fire Department of North Versailles honored a 5-year-old boy who helped save his mother's life by dialing 911, as well as the fire prevention officer who taught him what to do in an emergency.
Brightside Academy preschooler Christopher Portis and firefighter Mark Frederick were presented plaques on Wednesday evening for their heroic efforts last month.
Christopher's mother Nicole Johnson began having a seizure on Feb. 11 at approximately 11 a.m. in her North Versailles Township home and the little boy was the only one there.
“I just saw her fall and I had to call 911,” Christopher said.
He said he knew what to do because “the fireman came to my school and told us.”
Johnson was transported to UPMC McKeesport and Christopher was taken to the North Versailles Police Department to wait for a relative to pick him up. At the police station, the 5-year-old noticed Frederick in his job as an emergency dispatcher.
“He walked in and said, ‘I know you. You taught me fire prevention at my school,'” Frederick said.
Frederick taught Christopher and his schoolmates at Brightside Academy in North Versailles in September.
Johnson said her son is a hero.
“He's so cute,” she said. “He paid attention in school.”
Frederick said he's pleased his lessons have been helping.
“Since 1997 we've had five emergencies — three fires and two ambulance calls — when kids had to remember what to do from what they learned at their school.”
He has been teaching fire prevention to students in East Allegheny schools and preschools within North Versailles Township since that time.
“We're very proud of Mark for doing this for over 15 years for the Fire Department of North Versailles,” FDNV Chief Jeff McNeill said. “He's done a great job.”
Frederick's wife Allison and daughter Amy also said they are very proud of him. Frederick said he started teaching fire prevention to Amy when she was 3.
Stacy Lee is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1970, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Experience the best teacher for Clairton student
- Officials give OK to develop disaster plan
- Agents remove dogs from unlicensed kennel
- McKeesport Festival of Trees raised holiday spirits of needy
- Clairton to raise spending by $1M