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Never too young to learn

by Eric Schwartz
| November 17, 2010 8:00 PM

A Hungry Horse, Mont., couple is lauding a 6-year-old boy for his actions after his mother lost consciousness last week.

Debra Johnson said she was driving through Hungry Horse on U.S. 2 with her three children around 7 p.m. Wednesday when she began to feel faint.

"I started to get real dizzy, and then my vision got really blurred," she said.

She pulled off the road at the Hungry Horse Fire Department and tried to gather herself, she said.

Johnson said she lost consciousness shortly thereafter, leaving her children - 6-year-old Kyle, 4-year-old Virginia and 2-year-old Roy - alone in a scary situation.

"I was crying," said Virginia, who said she tried waking her mother.

That's when Kyle acted on his training, his parents said. The boy retrieved his mother's cell phone and called his stepfather, Michael Spencer, a volunteer firefighter with the Martin City Fire Department.

"First he said, 'Dad, I can't wake Mommy up," Spencer said. "He told me he was across the street from the gas station."

In time, Spencer found his family, called an ambulance and had Johnson taken to North Valley Hospital. Debra said doctors determined dehydration had caused her to lose consciousness.

Spencer said he hopes the story will act as a reminder for parents to have an emergency plan in place for their young children.

"I hope this promotes that there can be safety [precautions] taught, no matter how young they are," Spencer said. "You never know when it's going to come in handy."

Johnson, a Flathead County native who returned home with Spencer about two months ago after living in Idaho, said they teach the children how to react in a number of emergencies.

"We're always talking about it, what to do in this situation or that situation," she said. "It's kind of an everyday thing. ... You never know when something could happen."

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