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Kids, 9, hailed for fast action
Both called 911 in an emergency
911 kids
Kayla Thurmond, center, and Tristan Livington, right, of Forsyth County were recently honored by Gov. Sonny Perdue for calling 911. Also honored was Jacob Thompson, left, of Houston County. - photo by Submitted

Gov. Sonny Perdue honored two Forsyth County youngsters at a special ceremony Tuesday.

Tristan Livingston and Kayla Thurmond, both 9 years old, were two of three children in the state commended for saving a life in 2009 by calling 911 during an emergency.

The event, held at the state capitol, was part of 911 Appreciation Day activities, which also honor about 2,500 professionals who operate local and regional 911 centers statewide.

“When emergencies occur, minutes and sometimes even seconds can mean the difference between life and death,” Perdue said in a statement.

“I am honored to recognize the state’s 911 professionals who save lives every day, and say ‘thank you’ for a job well done.”

According to a news release, Livingston called 911 on July 10 when his grandmother, who has a history of heart problems, told him she thought she was having a heart attack.

It goes on to say Livingston answered all of the questions asked by Forsyth County dispatcher Danny Murray and followed medical directions from dispatcher Denny Lewis.

Thurmond took care of her younger brother and remained calm while she waited for help to arrive Aug. 20.

She had called 911 after her mother suffered a seizure. Local dispatcher Sherry Avery took the call.

Georgia Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security Director Charley English said in a statement that 911 is “critically important.”

“We are grateful to the extraordinary people who work the phones every day with no margin for error,” English said. “We also are proud to recognize these fine young people who used the system to save lives.”

Buzz Weiss, spokes-man for the Georgia Emergency Management Agency, said 94 children have been honored in the 10 years since the program’s inception.

Weiss noted that District 11 state Sen. John Bulloch, R-Ochlocknee, sponsored a Senate resolution recognizing the 20th anniversary of enhanced 911, know as E-911, in the state.

As recently as 2004, just 121 of Georgia’s 159 counties had enhanced 911 services that provided the location of a call.

Today, 154 counties either have such services or are putting them in place.