The patrol leader training received by a 13-year-old Boy Scout came in handy when his scout leader was dragged into a cave at Splitrock Reservoir in Rockaway.

Frankie Lepore, 13, of Boonton told the Daily Record that he thought scoutmaster Christopher Petronino wasn't serious on Dec. 20 when he yelled for help because Petronino is known as a jokester. Once Lepore called 911 he spent 90 minutes on the phone with several different police and rescue agencies calmly describing their location and giving instructions to his fellow scouts to make a smokey fire to help find their location and to use the buddy system.

At one point, Lepore told his brother Vincent and Petronino's son that if they don't make it out alive that he loved them.

Lepore's parents told the newspaper their son, an eighth-grader at the Rockaway Valley School, was afraid they would be upset at what happened.

"My wife and I are just so proud of the boys and how they handled themselves," he said. In a statement, Petronino's wife Lydia commended "the three boys who truly saved my husband’s life because of their quick thinking and brave actions."

Christopher is recovering from injuries suffered from bites to his left arm, left leg, neck and head.

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