Zachary Page, a 7 year old from Vandalia, was watching cartoons on a Saturday morning when his grandmother fell down some stairs and called for his help. The quick thinking first grader remembered what he had learned at the “Passport to Safety” program that is taught to all incoming kindergartners in the schools by the Fire Department. He called 911, and with a strong voice told the dispatcher exactly what was wrong. Zachary calmly told the dispatcher his name, the address, and what the problem was in addition to answering other questions. When the first responder, Chad Follick, Vandalia Fire Chief arrived, Zachary met him in the driveway and led him to his fallen grandmother.
Fortunately, the grandmother was treated at the scene and did not have to go to the hospital. Zachary was presented with the Fire Department’s Civilian Medal of Honor Award, and Tuesday, February 5, 2013, was proclaimed Zachary Page day in the City of Vandalia.
Every year, the Vandalia Fire Division staff, in conjunction with Butler Township, provides “Passport to Safety” training to between 200 and 250 children prior to the start of their kindergarten year. This program is taught at Demmitt Elementary, Helke Elementary, Murlin Heights, and St. Chris. Zachary Page is an example of how helpful this program is to children who may find themselves in a situation where they need to telephone 911.