BROWNSVILLE – Logan Powell’s fascination with vacuum cleaners frequently leads him to the nearest smartphone to look up YouTube videos showing demonstrations and the inner workings of different models of vacuums.
The 7-year-old’s handiness with mobile technology proved recently to be a lifesaver, when Logan used his grandfather Leroy Childress’ phone to get help when Childress found himself unable to walk as the two searched for arrowheads in a cornfield near Kyrock.
Logan wandered a cornfield until he could get a decent signal on the phone and called his grandmother, who with Logan’s mother was able to locate Childress and call for an ambulance.
On Monday, Logan was awarded a certificate of appreciation and a medal by Edmonson County Sheriff Shane Doyle during a ceremony at the Edmonson County Courthouse.
The precocious Kyrock Elementary School first grader has earned no shortage of gratitude – and perhaps a little extra space for his burgeoning vacuum collection – from family members who were relieved that first responders found Childress.
“I’m everybody’s hero, even though I drive people crazy,” Logan said.
The roots of Logan’s heroism were sown on a Saturday afternoon last month, when Childress drove his grandson home from his Little League baseball game.
During the trip, Childress took a shortcut and pulled off near an area of Nolin River bottoms close to Mammoth Cave National Park to search for arrowheads in a valley.
Logan had Childress’ phone to keep himself occupied and had thought to go back to his grandfather’s car to wait on him, but turned back toward the area where he thought Childress would be.
Logan, who said he wasn’t very familiar with the area where they stopped, encountered his grandfather on the ground, unable to stand.
“He told me, ‘I want you to try to help me up,’ “ Logan said. “He got back to standing up and he was just shaking and he fell back down.”
With no way of getting back up, Childress guided Logan through getting some help, instructing him to call Leavia Childress, Logan’s grandmother.
Cell reception was spotty where Leroy Childress was lying, though, so Logan resorted to wandering around the cornfield until he got a strong-enough signal to make the call and keep a conversation going with his grandmother.
Leavia Childress got her husband on the phone, but the fuzzy signal gave her little insight on the situation, so she talked with her grandson to get a handle on things.
Soon, Leavia Childress and Logan’s mother, LeAnn Powell, were traveling the area between Powell’s home and Logan’s baseball game to try to find Leroy Childress.
“Between the bits and pieces of what we got, we were able to get to them,” Leavia Childress said.
Logan described a log house on a hilltop as a nearby landmark, and later in the call told family that his grandfather’s vehicle was parked near a metal gate.
Those clues were enough for the family to go on, and Leavia Childress and LeAnn Powell were able to find the vehicle and get to where Leroy Childress had fallen.
“When (Logan) saw us pull up, he came running,” LeAnn Powell said.
Logan said he was “kind of nervous” while waiting for his mother and grandmother to arrive, and they were grateful that Leroy Childress’ car remained where it had been parked.
“If they’d had that vehicle towed, thinking it was abandoned, he wouldn’t have been found,” Leavia Childress said.
LeAnn Powell called for an ambulance, and, after about 1 1/2 hours lying in the hot afternoon sunlight, Leroy Childress was spotted by first responders, who provided him with ice and other care.
Leroy Childress, who is diabetic and prone to bouts of low blood pressure, was hospitalized for four days, but evaluations were unable to conclude what caused him to collapse.
He recovered and is resting at his Mammoth Cave home.
The story was shared on social media, which is where Doyle came across it and had the idea to honor Logan’s resourcefulness and poise during an emergency.
“When I try to hire a deputy, that’s the kind of person I’m looking for, somebody who’s going to put somebody else above themselves,” Doyle said Monday.
The certificate presented by the sheriff commends Logan’s “heroic and quick action” and Doyle drove the point home when he placed the medal around Logan’s neck.
“You’re more of a superhero than Captain America or Iron Man or any of those guys,” Doyle said.
Logan has gotten a note from the doctor who treated his grandfather, and his family is certain that the 7-year-old’s actions saved his life.
LeAnn Powell said Logan’s focus during the phone calls makes her wonder if he fully grasped the serious nature of the emergency.
For his part, Logan sounds like he might get used to the plaudits that come his way.
“When I’m in second grade, I’ll wear this the first day of school,” Logan said while handling his medal.