SALEM — A local child had the ride of his life Monday, thanks for his heroic efforts in May. Dorian Beshara, 6, was given the hero’s treatment Monday a few months after he helped his elderly next door neighbor get medical attention.
In early May, Dorian, who lives with his grandmother, happened to be looking out a window that faces Dorothy Beal’s home. Dorian’s grandmother, Shelly Beshara, said he looks out the window almost every day to wave to Beal and calls her “Dot Beal.”
“He loves her,” she said.
Beal, 84, was outside and waved back to Dorian when she bent down to pick something up off the ground.
“I heard this terrible crack,” she said. “I thought, ‘Oh, that was my back.’”
She leaned against a birdbath between the two houses and gestured to Dorian to indicate she was injured.
“I was in that window and I wanted to go say hi and it looked like she was hurt,” Dorian said. “So I told my uncle and my daddy to go help Dot Beal.”
The men brought Beal inside her home and called an ambulance.
“Dorian, he’s my little hero,” Beal said. “I think he’s a smart little fellow.”
An X-ray later proved Beal had broken her back. The injury required hospitalization and rehabilitation. Dorian insisted on visiting Beal in the hospital while she was recuperating, Beshara said.
“He just feels like he needs to check on her,” she said.
The fire department caught wind of Dorian’s quick thinking and decided to reward him for his efforts. Firefighter Brian Allard came to Dorian’s house around 11 a.m. to give him a ride in one of their fire engines.
“He was smiling ear to ear,” Allard said. “We’re happy to come over and give him some recognition.”
Dorian said he loved riding in the fire truck. He said he especially liked sitting up front and honking the horn for everyone to hear.
“You get to go fast and you see a lot of things from up high,” he said.
Beal — who said she would bring her children to the fire station all the time — also got her chance to ride in a fire engine for the first time when it came for Dorian.
“I never thought I’d be going for a ride at 84 years old,” she said.
Some people go parachuting when they are older, Beal got to ride a fire truck, Beshara said.
The department presented Dorian with a framed certificate congratulating him on being a heroic citizen.
“He kind of set an example for kids his age,” Allard said.
Beal’s family continues to send him cards, thanking him for his help, according to Beshara. Dorian had some cake at Beal’s house after the fire engine left.
“For him to recognize the difference between a wave and somebody needing help is incredible,” his grandmother said.
When Allard asked Dorian what he wanted to be when he was older, Dorian did not say a firefighter. He would like to be an actor and live in a big mansion, he said. Later this month, Dorian will start first grade and said he will get to tell his friends about his exciting summer.
“I saved Dot Beal,” he said. “She is the prettiest 84-year-old woman in the world.”