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Unsung heroes
911 dispatchers work behind the curtain
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All of our first responders deserve pats on the back and our undying gratitude for what they do for us. From facing domestic violence calls to working accidents to running into burning buildings, they risk their lives for our safety.
But, there are other heroes who work behind the scenes, those who often go unnoticed. Two of these individuals were recognized recently by their superiors and deserve our kudos as well.
At about 8 p.m. Jan 15, Communications Officer I Katie Nelson answered a 911 call. The call was a female who was breathing heavily and advised “Ow or Oh.” After a period of silence, a woman said her friend had been shot.
Nelson tried to gather additional information but no one would talk and after a minute, the line went dead. Nelson tried to call the phone back. At this time, Supervisor Brittney Glenn dispatched law enforcement to the location, determined by triangulation of the cellular phone.
Despite numerous calls, no more of the story was known.
Once officers arrived on scene, they requested “EMS now,” as they found one female that had been shot. While officers were on scene investigating, they found two additional victims with injuries. Officers were on scene for five hours investigating this call.
In the days to come, officers followed-up on this case and found two more victims, for a total of five.
“Both CO I Nelson and Supervisor Glenn did an amazing job at using the mapping and call history on the phone number to get these victims help as no information was given by the caller,” said Supervisor Dena Popp in an “atta boy” submitted to the Barton County Commission. Nelson and Glenn typed six pages of notes and included over 14 Great Bend Police Department officers. “In the meantime, they were calling detectives, notifying administration, speaking with the hospital, launching a helicopter, getting off-duty EMS personnel to the station for additional help for victims, taking calls from the media. All this in addition to continuing to take radio traffic from all other officers, answering phone calls, running driver’s licenses, car tags, etc. The multitasking involved in this call, and the teamwork demonstrated by both CO I Nelson and Supervisor Glenn was outstanding and was above and beyond the normal day to day tasks.”
It is reassuring to know there are such dedicated public servants at the other end of that phone call when help is needed.
Dale Hogg