Cade, the Hero
With some 9-1-1 emergency awareness you can be one, too
By Kathleen Goddeyne -
Rim Rock Elementary School, located at 1810 J 1/6 Road, honored Cade Graeger, a student in Kathi Pewter’s first grade class, on Tuesday, Nov. 27, for saving the life of his mother.
As reported in the Nov. 22 edition of the Fruita Times, Cade woke up around 4:30 a.m. on the morning of Sept. 8 when he heard his mother, Jody Graeger, screaming. He recognized that his mother was having an insulin reaction and called 911. Six-year-old Cade followed directions given by the dispatcher, unlocked the doors of the home, turned on the lights, and waited for the Lower Valley Fire District to arrive. The team was able to stabilize Jody’s blood sugar levels, saving her life.
Pewters informed Bob Bomar, Fruita Police Department School Resource Officer, about Cade’s life-saving phone call and Bomar set up an informational assembly for all Rim Rock Elementary first graders.
“911 is very important for emergency calls right?” Bomar asked the students to begin the assembly. The students replied with a loud, collective “yes.”
Bill Arcieri, Mesa County Dispatch Center Supervisor, made it a point to let the students know how important it is to have their addresses memorized.
“You need to know where you are all of the time so that if you call us, we can find you,” Arcieri said.
Before introducing Brianne Jacobsen, the dispatcher that took Cade’s call, Arcieri explained to the students why dispatchers work every day of the year, even holidays.
“They are there for you to ask questions, get information, and to help you,” said Arcieri.
Jacobsen reinforced the fact that knowing your address is important before recounting Cade’s story.
“The first question we ask is ‘What is the address of your emergency?’” said Jacobsen. Cade didn’t know his exact address, but he did know what street he lives on. “The ambulance was sent out and we found them. Without that call, she might not be here today.”
The next portion of the informational assembly focused on the work done by the Lower Valley Fire Department (LVFD).
“We arrived on scene and all of the doors were unlocked and the lights were on. A young man met us downstairs and had also done everything that the dispatcher had asked him to do,” said Gene Holder, a LVFD Captain. “What this person did for his mother was very important.”
Holder also explained to the students what happens to a diabetic during an insulin reaction. Essentially, the body starts to shut systems down to protect itself before extreme symptoms such as seizure, stroke, coma, or hypothermia set in.
Up until this point, the students had no idea that the assembly was based around Cade. His name hadn’t been mentioned yet and he had no idea that he was going to be honored.
Jody, who was listening from another room, was the next speaker.
“On September 8th, I went into an insulin reaction and he knew exactly what to do. He called 911,” said Jody in reference to her son. “My son is my hero and I will love him forever for saving my life. My son is Cade Graeger.”
Bomar presented Cade with a heroism plaque. Cade also received a Fruita Police Department hat and patch, a LVFD hat and patch, and a set of “Magic Treehouse” books, Cade’s favorite.
Pewters also had a gift for Cade and his mother; a pair of necklaces to represent hope and love.
“When you look at this plaque, you will remember the day you became a hero,” said Pewters.
With Cade grinning from ear to ear, his classmates’ yelled phrases like “good job Cade,” and “good job for saving your mom’s life!”