EL DORADO HILLS, Calif. (KTXL) —The El Dorado Hills Fire Department inducted its newest and youngest member on Thursday night.
Matthias Gross, who is 6 years old, is now an honorary firefighter.
“I couldn’t be prouder. We both couldn’t be prouder,” Michael Gross, Matthias’s dad, said.
On Aug. 23, Matthias’s grandmother had a diabetic episode.
“I said, ‘Call mommy. I can’t breathe.’ And he goes, ‘That’s OK, I’ll take care of you.’ And I was like, ‘Oh Lordy, no.’”
But it turns out Matthias was the right kid for the job.
“I run to the phone and call 911,” Matthias said.
“She can’t breathe,” he told the 911 operator.
“Within 30 minutes, she would’ve been in a diabetic coma,” Lisa Gross, Matthias’s mom, said.
Becky Lee, Matthias’s grandma, calls him her hero.
It’s a heroic turn for a boy who didn’t say his first words until he was 3. Matthias was diagnosed with autism after his parents noticed he wasn’t speaking — at all.
“Between not being able to speak and social skills, he just has come a long way,” Lisa Gross said.
Three years later, Matthias has the charisma to match his heroism.
On Thursday night, the El Dorado Hills Fire Department awarded Matthias a Civilian Life-Saving Award.
“You are absolutely a hero, and we are so proud of you. So, I’m going to give that to you,” Cpt. Ryan Bennett said. “I’m very proud of you. You did such a great job. I went home and told my kids how proud I was of you, and I wish my kids could do the same thing if they ever need to so good job.”
Matthias even got his own firefighter turnouts to fit in with the other heroes of Engine 86.