Journal Staff

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By Journal Staff

Paul Nicholson, who was profiled in a recent issue of The Journal for his efforts to teach school children about 9-1-1, was named volunteer citizen of the year by State Farm California. The $500 that goes with the award was donated to Nicholson’s charity of choice, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), which trains volunteers to serve as mentors and advocates for abused and neglected children.

Nicholson, of Eureka, Calif., has been a State Farm Insurance agent since 1977 and started a 9-1-1 education program 10 years ago when a fall from a cement truck put him in contact with the 9-1-1 system. His son, who was six years old at the time, told his dad he would have been unsure what to do if his mother hadn’t made the call. Nicholson now spends up to five hours a week in Humboldt County schools giving his presentation and reaches nearly 3,000 kindergarten through second grade students each year.

Nicholson has received a succession of honors over the past two years. In 2010, Nicholson and a nine-year-old boy were honored at the State Capitol in Sacramento for a 9-1-1 call using Nicholson’s instructions about calling 9-1-1 that saved the boy’s mother. In 2011, he received the Citizen Action Award at the E9-1-1 annual honors gala held in Washington, D.C.