Unsung Hero: 9-year-old Cub Scout calmly calls 911 after sister’s injury

This is Unsung Heroes, a Bryan on Scouting blog series celebrating under-reported acts of Scouting heroism. These are stories that don’t make national headlines — but should. That’s doubly true in this world that can always use more good news. Read the latest story below, and find instructions for sharing your own Unsung Heroes story at the end of the post.


On a sunny Sunday in September a few years back, 9-year-old Curtis Beasley was playing in his room when he heard screaming from outside.

He ran into the yard and found his mom and dad leaned over his 8-year-old sister, Abby. Curtis could see Abby’s leg was bleeding, and he saw his dad applying pressure to the wound.

Without a moment’s hesitation, Curtis ran back into the house and called 911. Curtis was able to relay his address and all the information required to get first responders to the scene quickly.

He even waited along the driveway to flag the emergency vehicles down.

Abby was rushed to the hospital. She lost her big toe, but doctors said it could’ve been much worse. A surgeon later told the Beasley family that Curtis calling 911 so quickly saved Abby’s foot and possibly her life.

For his cool-headed demeanor, Curtis, then a Bear Scout in Pack 64 of Garner, N.C., received the National Award of Merit.

Always outside

Abby loves the outdoors so much that you’ll rarely find her inside. That’s especially true on a sunny, cool fall day like she was enjoying on Sept. 17, 2017.

At some point that afternoon, Abby approached the riding mower her dad was using. She walked beside it and was talking to him as he mowed. (Note: Experts say there’s no safe distance away from a lawnmower when it’s running. Everyone, especially children, should be inside.)

Abby got lost in their talk and didn’t realize that there was a divot in the yard or that her dad was turning the mower. A moment later, she stepped into the divot and slipped under the running mower.

Her dad immediately stopped the mower and lifted it off his injured daughter. He carried Abby to the hood of his car parked nearby. He screamed for his wife to help.

Curtis (second from left) was presented with the National Medal of Merit for his actions.

A happy resolution

Thanks to Curtis calling 911 right away, EMTs were able to stabilize Abby and rush her to Wake Medical Center in Raleigh, N.C., where Abby underwent hours of surgery to save her maimed foot.

Thankfully, the surgeons on duty were successful. While Abby lost her big toe and still walks with a limp, she’s able to run and play today.

Without Curtis’ quick thinking, the situation may have ended very differently.

“I just did what Ms. Melissa and Mr. Tony taught us in Cub Scouts,” Curtis says.

Curtis went on to earn his Arrow of Light and crossed over to Scouts BSA in 2018. He’s now a proud Scout with Troop 57 out of Clayton, N.C.

Helpful resources

The BSA is committed to helping young people enjoy Scouting — and life — safely. Here are some Health & Safety resources worth sharing:

Share your Unsung Heroes story

Stories like these brighten my day — especially because I know this kind of thing happens regularly in Scouting.

Here’s how to share the news of an Unsung Hero in your pack, troop or crew:

  1. Send an email to me with the subject line “Unsung Heroes.”
  2. Include a detailed summary of the heroic act.
  3. Include any “supporting documentation” you can. Examples include links to a story in your local newspaper, paperwork for a Scouting heroism award nomination or eyewitness accounts.
  4. Include high-res photos of the Unsung Hero.

Thanks to Melissa Clites for the blog post idea.

About Bryan Wendell 3041 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.