Local second grader honored for saving grandfather's life

911 Hero

IOWA, LA (KPLC) - Most elementary school students see some type of demonstration on what to do in an emergency. But do they really remember what they're taught?

Leonardo Hernandez is a second grader at J. I. Watson Elementary in Iowa. He's described as a shy, well-mannered student who doesn't like to be the center of attention.

But Wednesday, all eyes were on Leo as the Iowa fire department honored him for saving his grandfather's life.

Leo may only be in the second grade, but just a few weeks ago his actions reached beyond his age when he called 911 after his grandfather fell off a ladder.

"He called 911, knew his address, knew his phone number, and stayed on the line with 911 until paramedics arrived," said Iowa fire chief Sandi Miller. 

Leo was outside with his older brother while their grandfather trimmed branches away from the roof. His grandfather fell causing Leo's brother to panic and leaving Leo to spring into action.

"I was pretty nervous," said Leo. "Because, for my grandfather."

His grandfather suffered a broken hip and several other injuries from the fall, but thanks to Leo, he survived.

"Oh it makes me so proud of him," said his mother Cristina Hernandez. "I can't explain all of that."

Leo's mother was shocked by her son's actions.

"I'm very happy to know that he knows everything," she said. "I didn't know he know all that."

Wednesday Leo received the Life Saving Star award from the fire department. Only two of these awards have been given out during Miller's 20 years with the fire department.

"I'm glad that the youngsters don't get the opportunity to call 911 on a regular basis, that they're not presented with those problems," said Miller. "But when they do call, I'm glad that they remember the things that they're taught."

Leo's cousin Eduardo Mendoza serves as a volunteer firefighter.. He too was proud by Leo's life saving actions.

"You never know when an emergency might pop up," said Mendoza. "It could happen out of nowhere, and you need to know these things, you know, to save a life."  

Leo received a necklace with a cross and a pendant. The pendant holds the letter 'LH'. They are his initials, but Miller says it also stands for local hero. He also received a gift certificate to take three friends with him to the movies.

His grandfather recovered from the accident and is now doing well.

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