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6-year-old saves grandfather by calling 911


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Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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WEST VALLEY CITY — When his grandpa fell down and didn't get up or respond, 6-year-old Colby Bertelsen knew what to do.

He called 911.

The dispatcher asked Colby the address of his emergency. Clearly distressed, the boy responded: "My grandpa is dying."

He didn't know the address, he told the dispatcher.

The quick thinking of the Orchard Elementary kindergartner may have saved the life of his grandfather Calvin Bertelsen, age 60, of West Valley City, on Monday when the former construction worker collapsed during a seizure.

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"I'm really proud of Colby," grandmother Netta Bertelsen said. "Colby saved his life by calling 911."

Asked how he learned to call 911, "I just knew," Colby said. "I knew."

Netta Bertelsen said that because of her husband's medical problems, including diabetes and a stroke last May, they've told Colby, "If anything happens to grandpa, call 911."

Colby was alone with his grandfather when the incident happened.

The 911 dispatcher stayed on the line with the boy until emergency responders arrived, asking him for further details. Colby didn't know how old grandpa is, he told the dispatcher, but his grandpa told him he needed to go to the doctor, then collapsed in the front doorway, Colby said.

"He's on the ground," he said. "His feet is outside, and he's on the ground."

Six year old Colby Bertelsen called 911 to help his grandfather, Calvin Bertelsen, who had fallen during a seizure at home in West Valley City, Monday, March 12, 2012. In the background are his grandmother, Netta Bertelsen and his sister Shyan Bertelsen. (Photo: Ravell Call, Deseret News)
Six year old Colby Bertelsen called 911 to help his grandfather, Calvin Bertelsen, who had fallen during a seizure at home in West Valley City, Monday, March 12, 2012. In the background are his grandmother, Netta Bertelsen and his sister Shyan Bertelsen. (Photo: Ravell Call, Deseret News)

Bertelsen had hit the ground face down. The dispatcher asked the boy if he could turn his grandfather's head to check if anything was in his mouth, but Colby said he couldn't. He could tell grandpa was breathing, though, because he was making a sound like he was snoring, Colby said. And he was bleeding from his nose.

"He snores and then he stops and then he does it again," he told the dispatcher.

Bertelsen was taken by ambulance to the hospital. He was released Tuesday and is resting at home.

Colby likes to play video games and build things with his grandfather's help. He put together a model firetruck mostly on his own, which he showed off proudly. He seems to have a knack for technology. He's in charge of replacing all the batteries in remotes and other devices in the home where he lives with his grandparents and two older sisters.

"I think he done really good." Netta Bertelsen said, "He's a smart little guy."

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Contributing: Alex Cabrero

Email:lbrubaker@ksl.com

Photos

Ladd Brubaker

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