Bakersfield Fire Captain Evan Gardner said it best – “It’s not normal for firefighters to make a return visit after an emergency.” But once you meet Elijah Adames, you’ll understand why this crew did.
Emergencies happen every day.
911 dispatcher Chris Fain has taken something like 20,000 emergency calls in his three years at the Emergency Call Center (ECC). But he says, this one was unique. “It was a busy day,” Fain recalled. “I remember this call. It was pretty routine until I found out he was a younger caller.”
That younger caller, was 10-year-old Elijah Adames.
“My mom tripped I guess and fell. So I knew I had to call 911,” Elijah told us.
Elijah was adopted 10 years and 6 months ago – by his mom, Jeri Carreras. The two are like glue. They take care of each other. But last week, Carreras took a nasty fall and cut her hand deep and wide.
“The blood was just pumping. They would put pressure on it and it would just keep on coming,” Carreras said.
Lucky for her, protective little Elijah knew exactly what to do.
911 Dispatch: Has the bleeding stopped from what you’ve done already?
Elijah: No, it’s still bleeding.
911 Dispatch: Okay, apply firm steady pressure, okay?
Elijah: I’m only 10 years old!
Listen to Elijah’s full 911 call here:
That was a memorable moment for dispatcher Chris Fain. “I’ll definitely remember the ‘I’m only 10!’ That was probably the funniest part of the call,” Fain laughed, remembering his endearing call with the boy.
Fain’s emergency call with Elijah was quick, no more than three minutes. But Elijah left a lasting impression on the dispatcher. Actually, he left an impression on a lot of people, including the responding team from the Bakersfield Fire Department.
“From the second we walked in his door and he asked us to take good care of his mom, we knew this kid was special,” said Bakersfield Firefighter Rryan Kingsbury.
Tracey Halvorson has a tenure of 16 years at the ECC and is a supervising fire dispatcher. “I didn’t take the call but I listened back to it later and he was very articulate. I wouldn’t have guessed he was that young,” Halvorson said of little Elijah’s remarkable composure.
Captain Evan Gardner said, “This boy is sweet, kind, thoughtful, selfless. And we are so thankful we got to meet him”
Elijah made such a strong impression that day, that the responding crew from Bakersfield Fire Station 5 went back to visit Elijah just a few days later.
“I couldn’t believe they came back. I really couldn’t,” Elijah’s mom said.
Here’s Elijah’s explanation:
“I guess we just connect!”
The little man, who brought all these people together has health problems a mile long. He’s struggled with things like pneumonitis of infancy, a severe surfactant deficiency, cerebral palsy, scoliosis, and other problems since he was born. But that hasn’t stopped Elijah from anything. And while he defies the odds every day just by being alive, he’s also busy taking care of his mom, and stealing our hearts.
“I’m not sure that I’ve ever met a kid with a bigger heart than what he has,” Bakersfield Firefighter Kingsbury said. “So Elijah, I’m proud of you and you’re my hero.”
Listen to the special messages from Bakersfield Fire Station 5 crew: