Perdue honors boy, 7, for heroism

LAWRENCEVILLE - A Gwinnett County Public Schools student was the youngest of five young heroes honored Wednesday by Gov. Sonny Perdue for saving a life by calling 911.

Holland Pugh, 7, called 911 on July 14 after his mother began shaking uncontrollably, according to the Governor's office. Although Holland didn't know his mother's full medical history, he let Gwinnett County dispatcher Luanne Pettit know his mother had experienced this problem in the past. Holland also followed Pettit's instructions to unlock the door so paramedics could come in without ringing the doorbell.

"He became so comfortable with her (Pettit) that they discussed a mutual interest in Scooby Doo, which kept him on the phone while they waited for paramedics to arrive," a news release states.

When Holland's mother stopped shaking, he put his ear next to her mouth to confirm she was still breathing and told Pettit that his mother's eyes were open but she was unresponsive, the news release states.

The governor's annual 911 Day program honors the contributions of about 2,500 professionals who operate local and regional 911 centers throughout the state. The program also recognizes Georgia children who successfully used 911 during the past year to save a life.

"In an emergency, 911 can mean the difference between life and death," Perdue said. "It is not always easy to remain calm in an emergency, yet these five boys and girls demonstrated a tremendous amount of composure and maturity in the midst of a crisis."

The four other Young Hero honorees were Maggie Davis, 10, of Union County; Chuck Massey, 10, of Troup County; Mario Smith, 8, of Atlanta; and Australia Williams, 12, of Henry County.

"911 is critically important," said Charley English, Georgia Emergency Management Agency Office of Homeland Security director. "We are grateful to the extraordinary people who work the phones every day with no margin for error. We also are proud to recognize these fine young people who used the system to save lives."