By ERIC HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

A 3-year-old Keizer boy possibly saved his father’s life when he called 9-1-1 after the man cut himself with a woodworking chisel.

At 10:13 a.m. Friday,  A.J. Hayes, 3, called 9-1-1 and told a dispatcher that his father was hurt and needed help and then hung up. The dispatcher called back and the boy picked up the phone to ask whether he needed police or an ambulance. The boy replied, “okay,” and hung up again.

When the dispatcher called a third time, the boy stayed on the phone and was able to unlock the front door shortly before Officer Scott Bigler of the Keizer police arrived at the address, 2002 Brandon Court N.E..

Bigler found the father, Aaron Hayes, leaning over the sink attempting to staunch the bleeding from a wound on his arm. Bigler began basic first aid treatment and a crew from the Keizer Fire District arrived just behind him.

Hayes cut himself with a chisel and severed an artery while working on homework from a recent class.

“What we’ve heard was that he was taking classes and planning on volunteering at the Salem Carousel,” said Anne-Marie Penge, Keizer Fire District spokesperson.

Hayes was transported Salem Hospital where he was treated and released.

The incident underscored the importance of teaching children to recognize numbers at an early age, said Keizer Fire Chief Jeff Cowan.