Tip of the Helmet to Radio

Every single time I have been sent on a wild goose chase by radio based on a cell phone caller’s brief description of something fanciful has been erased from my memory ( OK, most of them. Well, some. Alright, the last 2 dozen)because of something they did recently.

Something that got them a phone call from me to say thanks.

I’m in the Captain’s buggy for the night and having a decent string of interesting calls when my screen comes alive steering my towards a reported suicide.

The text of this run reads like a teenager’s text message both in content and presentation.

In part shorthand is a scenario describing a person who’s son was online with another person who told another person they were going to kill themself and that a fourth party had supplied certain pharmaceuticals to make that request a reality.  Did you follow that?  Imagine your kid comes in and tells you Bobby saw on facebook that Jimmy said Ed was going to kill himself.  Now imagine you’re telling 911 that.

On scene with half the police watch (with beanbag gun!), an engine and one of my favorite ambulance crews, we’re wandering the laberynthine apartment complex looking for the unit in question.  Radio shoots back with a corrected unit number which sends us in the other direction.  For those of you not in the business, this is one of the first giveaways of a BS call.  Radio advises us they’re on the line with the cell phone prodiver who is actively pinging the phone and is giving a 91% probability the phone is currently inside the billing address.  They can do that?  Yup, they can do that.  Whether or not the owner of said phone is there they’re still in Beta testing on I’m told.

We finally find the unit in question and wake the occupants only to find they did not request us.  As PD turns to go the medic asks an important question:

“Are your children at home?”

They look at each other and then back into the unit. After a brief pause they answer with a question, “yes? why?”

PD’s ears are up and they’re in the unit faster than you can say exigent circumstances.  They search the unit and find our patient semi-conscious, deep under the influence of medications supplied by a friend.

He had snuck out, ingested the medications, then snuck back in to drift into the ether, but not before sending out a cryptic message on social media that was seen by someone who cared.

That person told their friend who told their parents who took it serious enough to call 911.

And my dispatchers took it serious enough to dig around and find out where the patient was and get us there as fast as they could.  And it made all the difference in the world for this family.

I tip my helmet to the voices…

 

Way to go, Radio!

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4 thoughts on “Tip of the Helmet to Radio”

  1. Great story. Brought a tear to my eye. A young life saved, a family spared from a horrible burden, and public safety, from dispatch, to PD to FD/EMS. Great job all around! 

  2. Nice to hear it turned out so well.
    Way back in the long time ago, near the birth of the internet, I was in a chatroom one night when someone there said she had taken a bunch of pills.
    I ended up figuring out how to call 911 in Madison, Wisconsin (many, many miles and several states from where I lived). It was a HUGE challenge to explain to dispatch what was going on, and how I knew (Internet? What’s that?), and convince them it wasn’t a crank call.
    Thankfully, they believed me, and got to her house before it was too late. It was an incredible coordinated effort. 
    There are some very caring, very excellent dispatchers out there who rarely get credit for their part in rescuing people. I will always be grateful to that one for having an open mind.

  3. Thank you.
     I was the radio voice for 18 years, although I have moved to the road now, I appreciate your recognition of a job well done.

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