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Heroes recognized by Children's Village

May 19, 2007|By MARIE GILBERT

Heroes are defined by their brave actions, not their age. Consider, for instance, Timothy Heidtke and Jared Morgan.

The two 8-year-old boys took control of medical emergencies that occurred at each of their homes.

They stayed calm, followed the proper procedures and came to the aid of two people they loved - their parents.

On Saturday, Timothy and Jared were honored for their efforts by being inducted into the Children's Village Life Safety Hall of Fame.

Children's Village of Washington County Inc. is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing free life-safety education to elementary school children.

Both Timothy and Jared had participated in the program last year, and credit that educational experience with being able to help their parents.

Timothy, a third-grader at Salem Avenue Elementary School, was at home when his mother, Yolanda, began to have a seizure. He calmly called 911 for help, then remained on the telephone to follow instructions from the 911 operator. The youngster also translated the instructions to his Spanish-speaking mother.

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Jared, who attends Greencastle-Antrim Elementary School, called 911 when his father had a kidney stone attack.

"My wife wasn't at home, and the pain just kept getting worse and worse," said Jeff Morgan, Jared's father, who was a co-developer of the original safety curriculum at Children's Village.

Remembering the lessons he had learned at Children's Village, the boy took charge of the situation, calling 911 and remaining on the telephone to follow instructions from the operator. He then turned on the outside lights so rescuers could locate the Morgan home.

"When we first started Children's Village, all we had was a concept," said Linda Irvin-Craig president of the board of directors. "But as we have grown, as we've developed, we've become more than what we envisioned. And when we hear stories like the stories we're hearing today, we know we're doing the right thing."

Timothy said induction into the Children's Village Hall of Fame was a "big surprise."

Mike Weller, life-safety education officer with the Hagerstown Fire Department, came to the boy's classroom to make the announcement.

"When he said there was a hero in the room, I started looking around," Timothy said. "Then he said my name and I tried to catch my breath."

Jared arrived at Saturday's ceremonies unaware that he would be the center of attention.

"I was told my uncle was getting an award," he said. "I had no idea. This is pretty neat."

The induction ceremony was held as part of the 16th annual Kids Alive Fest, hosted by Children's Village.

The event is a combination open house/community safety day, and featured a wide range of activities, including K-9 demonstrations, a radar gun contest, a junior firefighters combat challenge, car seat safety checks and the popular minicar rides.

The event was sponsored by Sovereign Bank and Susquehanna Bank.

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