7-Year-Old 911 Hero an Example for all Families

Experts say Carlos likely saved his family with quick thinking.

ByABC News via logo
March 10, 2010, 5:25 PM

March 11, 2010— -- His panicked voice was heartbreaking. But the 7-year-old California boy hailed as a hero for calling 911 while gunmen tore through his house showed poise and quick thinking well beyond his years.

The gunmen are still on the loose, but parents and experts are now using the call for help made by the boy only known as Carlos as an example of why children should be taught from an early age to call 911.

"Can you come really fast, hurry up," he pleaded with dispatcher Monique Patino, later adding, "and bring soldiers too."

Police say Carlos was also able to give them some good leads on the suspects.

"One of them had just a jacket and they both have guns, but there was three of them," Carlos said at a news conference Wednesday. "One was outside waiting for the other guy. The car was green. The other guy was running somewhere else and then one of them had bald hair."

Experts say Carlos' possibly saved the lives of the entire family.

"His parents were practicing with him every day or at least regularly which is so important," Elise Kim, executive director of 911 for Kids told "Good Morning America." "He stated and very clearly described the emergency."

Children are often more calm and responsive on 911 calls than adults, Kim said, but they need to know how to get help. She recommended parents teach their children how to use every phone in the house, including cell phones, as well as the basics such as the home's address.

And children need to be taught when and when not to call 911 and, once on the phone, Kim said, what to tell the dispatcher, how to describe the emergency and to stay on the phone until told to hang up.

Carlos, she said, did everything right. He and Patino will be awarded with the 911 for Kids medal of honor next month.