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Mother Grateful for 4-Year-Old's 911 Call

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SMITHFIELD — A Johnston County mother is counting her blessings after being left at the mercy of rescuers and her very young son. Justin Parker knew exactly what to do when his mother would not respond, thanks to instructions she thought the youngster had forgotten.

As an emergency telecommunicator, Melissa Newsome is used to getting crank calls. She says she's heard them before, but there was something about a call that came in Monday that caught her attention.

A small voice on the other end of the line was asking for help.

Justin's mother, Beverly Parker mother is fine, thanks to his quick thinking. She had passed out from exhaustion. She says Justin surprised her by doing exactly as he had been taught.

Parker says Justin started wanting to play with the telephone at the age of two. It was then that she taught him to dial 9-1-1, but she says she never felt that the lessons were getting through to him.

Now, Parker says she advises everyone to have a phone where a child can reach it, and to teach young children how to call for help.

Emergency workers agree with Parker. They say children understand more than many adults realize. The right training, they say, could lead to life-saving help later.

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Brian Bowman, Reporter
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