There is not a badge for the kind of bravery it took for these boy scouts to help save their scout leader from a bear attack.
“I thought this was a serious situation,” Frankie Lepore remembers. “He might not make it alive if we don’t do something.”
Brothers Frankie and Vincent Lepore were part of a small group hiking two weeks ago in New Jersey. Their scout leader, Christopher Petronino, was near a cave when a black bear grabbed him by the leg and pulled him inside.
“At first I thought he was joking, but then I head the bear and heard him, ‘Call 911.”
Instead of panicking, their boy scout training kicked in.
“The main thing to do was just to stay calm,” Frankie explains.
Calling 911, throwing food toward the cave to try to lure the bear out, and coming up with a plan to help rescuers find them deep in the woods.
“Do you want us to make a signal fire? Would that help?” they could be heard asking on the 911 call.
“Yeah, if you can start a fire,” the operator encouraged them.
That fire and Peronino’s dog’s barking scared the bear off, and rescuers arrived soon after, airlifting the scout leader to the hospital.
“It was very scary,” Vincent Lepore admits.
That fear was overpowered by purpose.
“If we don’t make it out, I love you guys,” could be heard on the call.
They did make it out, along with Petronino who is recovering because of two boy scouts who took to hear their oath to “help people at all times”.
Frankie Lepore confesses, “I felt like a hero cause I saved someone; we saved somebody’s life.