On Friday, Mayor Richard J. Berry recognized nine year old Richard Jenkins and Albuquerque Fire Department Dispatcher/Driver Jeff Bussey for the handling of a 911 call in which Richard called for assistance for his grandmother after she suffered a stroke.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Erin Kinnard Thompson 505-991-6242
May 20, 2011
On Thursday April 7, Richard was home alone with his grandmother and found her on the floor, still breathing but unresponsive. He immediately called 911 and his call was answered by Driver Bussey. Driver Bussey verified the address at his grandmother’s house, which Richard was able to provide to him as well as the phone number. Richard indicated that he discovered his grandmother lying on the floor face down and he could not “wake her up”. Driver Bussey asked pointed questions to assess the grandmother’s medical condition and based on Richard’s responses, knew that the situation was very serious and that she required immediate medical attention. Driver Bussey gave helpful directions to Richard and in turn the young boy tried to clean off his grandmother’s mouth and make sure she was in a safer position. Richard gave a good description of the neighborhood and home so that responders could easily locate the house and made sure that the door was unlocked for their arrival.
Richard’s grandmother was an important caretaker in his life and he indicated to Driver Bussey that he was very scared. Nonetheless, Richard maintained a calm demeanor and Driver Bussey repeatedly reassured him that he was doing a great job and that his grandmother would be very proud of him. Driver Bussey was a calming force for young Richard and let him know that help would be there very soon and they would do everything they could to help his grandmother.
Police and paramedics from the Albuquerque Fire Department arrived within minutes. Richard’s grandmother was transported to the hospital where unfortunately she died five days later.
After being notified by a neighbor of this incident and evaluating the call, it was determined that Richard as well as the dispatcher Driver Bussey were both heroes for their handling of the situation. Richard is a big fan of the Albuquerque Isotopes and the University of New Mexico Lobos and both organizations were generous in their participation in the Friday’s Heroes presentation which took place at the Isshin Ryu Karate Club. Isotopes mascot Orbit and UNM mascot Lobo Louie were on hand as well. Representatives from the University of New Mexico presented Richard season passes to Lobo Football. Additionally, on behalf of the City, Mayor Berry presented Richard with tickets to the Zoo, Isotopes baseball and a “Friday’s Hero” certificate. The mayor presented Driver Bussey with a Friday’s Hero coin.
“Richard acted with great bravery and maturity in trying to assist his grandmother. He is a very special young man,” said Mayor Berry. “Driver Bussey was a hero to Richard on that day due to the compassionate and competent way that he handled the call. They are both exceptional citizens of our community.”