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911 for Kids
Athletes and
Entertainers for Kids
Brea Teen’s Quick Action Saves Father Who Collapses at High School Field

Saturdays in April usually lend themselves to temperate weather, the first glimpses of summer, and time spent outdoors with family—as was the day Samantha Swisher and her father, Gary, were enjoying a father-daughter jog at the Brea Olinda High School track.

More incredulous was that this particular Saturday would afford itself to the astuteness of a 17 year-old girl responding to a situation that could have taken the elder Swisher’s life at just 55. 

Just seconds into his cool-down from running a mile around the track, Gary began to waver, taking in huge inhalations of breath, then collapsing finally onto the turf.

Samantha’s instinctive action was to run to the phone and dial 9-1-1 to save the person she says she “needs for the rest of life”—the man to be there on the imminent prom and graduation nights, “walking her down the aisle,” to her giving birth. 

Lucy Kruse, dispatcher for the Brea Police department, received the teen’s urgent call and dispatched paramedics. Kruse simultaneously became the frantic teen’s morale and urged her to remain calm. 

The exasperated teen did not hypotheticals interfere with the situation, as she began administering CPR while still on the phone with Kruse.  She completed several chest compressions that appeared successful until her father stopped breathing again. 

Officer Jesse Garduna was patrolling the area and rushed to the track to Samantha’s aid. Together, they were able to continue administering CPR until paramedics arrived to defibrillate the elder Swisher. He regained a pulse before being carted onto the ambulance. 

At St. Jude’s Medical Center, it was determined he struggled through a heart arrhythmia, finding a 90 percent blockage in one of his arteries. 
Samantha’s quick thinking, proficiency in CPR, and desperation to save her hero prevented what would have been the premature death of her father or an irreversible brain injury he would never have recovered from. 

Kruse’s fast action and moral support aided in the quick response to the elder Swisher. 

Both the young Swisher and Kruse were honored at our APCO 2013 Heroes Ceremony where they both received awards for emergency response and preparedness during a crisis situation. 

Ceremony honors 911 dispatcher, DeSoto teen wounded in rampage

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Chris White
Chris White (right, with his big brother) and his little brother Myles (left) were wounded in the August rampage. ( ) 

Staff writer Staci Parks reports:

A 911 call taker and the 13-year-old DeSoto boy she talked through the worst night of his life were honored as heroes Monday.


For dispatcher Nori Kelly, the Aug. 7 phone call from Chris White will resonate because of how selfless the teen was during a rampage that killed his mother and sister and left him and his younger brother wounded.

“I think this [call] stood out because he was trying to protect his brother and sister,” the 31-year veteran dispatcher said. “He wanted to make sure they were safe.”

Kelly and the DeSoto teen each received a 911 Medal of Honor at the Texas 911 Heroes Awards ceremony, hosted by AT&T and U.S. Best Repairs at Dallas’ Latino Cultural Center. Chris, who is still recovering, could not attend.

The night the teen was shot, police say, Erbie Bowser killed his ex-girlfriend and her daughter in Dallas before storming the DeSoto home of his estranged wife, Zina — Chris’ mother.

Authorities say Bowser battered down the back door and lobbed a grenade inside, then entered the home and shot Zina Bowser and her 28-year-old daughter, Neima Williams. Chris was shot twice in the rampage, standing in the path of a bullet that also struck his 10-year-old brother, Myles.

Despite his injuries, one of which damaged his spine, Chris still managed to call 911 and hid in a closet with Myles and their 3-year-old nephew.

During the 12-minute call, Kelly kept the wounded Chris on the line and calm. He told her he was struggling to breathe and was scared because he was losing the feeling in his legs.

Outside, police say, the gunman was out of ammunition and pretended to be among the injured when officers arrived. Bowser was arrested and remains jailed on counts of capital murder and aggravated assault.

Although Kelly hasn’t had the chance to meet Chris face-to-face yet, she said she thinks about him and that night often.

“I think that’s part of the nervousness, putting a face to a call,” she said. “Just thinking about it still chokes me up. I don’t know what I’ll do when I meet him.”

Anyone hoping to help Chris and his brother can visit or the family’s page.

9-1-1 for Kids Honor Cheap Trick

Cheap Trick 

9-1-1 for Kids presented Cheap Trick lead singer and youth advocate Robin Zander, with a "9-1-1 Heroes Award"  during the Five Star Conference in Dallas, Texas.  Robin and his wife Pam are longtime supporters and advocates of youth causes and education.  The award was presented by 9-1-1 for Kids board of director member, Mark Zaverl (CEO & President of U.S. Best Repair Services Inc.) and executive director, Elise Kim immediately before the concert.

U.S. Best Repair showcased 9-1-1 for Kids during the Five Star conference and hosted a successful silent auction.  9-1-1 for Kids, National Chairman, Tim Brown made a special photo opportunity appearance and posed with conference attendees.

The Five Star Institute creates powerful, innovative, and invaluable opportunities for education and collaboration within the mortgage banking industry. It is our goal to create a community that supports growth and groundbreaking ideas for the betterment of the industry as a whole, while also delivering unmatched education.


"9-1-1 for Kids is the foundation for all disaster and emergency preparedness and response training. 

Just like recycling, successful public education programs often take root in schools with students effectively carrying critical information home to family members, neighbors, friends and new acquaintances.  9-1-1 for Kids has proven since 1994 to have exceptional effective results."

Richard McCarthy, Executive Director
California Seismic Safety Commission

(US Geological Survey, Costal Commission)


911 for Kids Rap

2014 Calendar

California Chapter NENA: Mission Critical


FCC CSRIC Quarterly
9-1-1 Goes to Washington
NG-911 Institute Awards
Missouri NENA/APCO Conference
Maine NENA Conference
National Poison Prevention Week
National Flood Safety Awareness Week

Tim Brown Mentor Mini Camp for Fatherless Boys
California Statewide Legislative 9-1-1 Heroes Awards
City of San Francisco 9-1-1 Heroes Awards
National Dispatcher Appreciation Week
National 911 Education Month
Navigators Conference
National Earthquake and Tsunami Awareness Month
National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

20th annual Tim Brown & Kathy Ireland 9-1-1 Celebrity Golf Classic
Michigan NENA Conference
Motorcycle Safety Month
National Bike Month
National Hurricane Preparedness Week
National Safe Boating Week

NENA National Conference
National Sheriffs Assn. Conference
FCC CSRIC Quarterly
National Safety Month
National Fireworks Safety Month
Home Safety Month
National CPR & AED Awareness Week
Sun Safety Week

National Fireworks Safety Month

APCO International
North Carolina NENA/APCO Conference
National Night Out
National Safe at Home Week

National Preparedness Month
FCC CSRIC Quarterly

Red Ribbon Rally
National Fire Prevention Week
National Crime Prevention Week
National Teen Driver Safety Week
Great California Shake Out

National Teens Don’t Text and Drive Week

Kathy Ireland Holiday Children’s Celebration
FCC CSRIC Quarterly

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