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'We're Gonna Get Someone Over There': How 911 Dispatchers Helped A Suicidal Caller
Holidays are always a busy time for the staff an at emergency dispatch center in Ohio, as seen in a recent episode of "911 Crisis Center."
At Chagrin Valley Dispatch in Ohio, the Fourth of July holiday is filled with nonstop emergency calls.
While other holidays are confined to one day, Independence Day can turn into “a three or four-day-long fiasco,” said dispatcher Essence Sullins on a recent episode of “911 Crisis Center.”
On Friday, July 1, a caller claimed he’d been punched in the face by his father and that first responders “need[ed] to come with a gun.” The caller said he had multiple sclerosis and couldn’t get out of the house on his own.
“I’m kind of trapped,” he told them, adding that he needed medical attention for his bloodied lip.
Dispatchers determined that this father and son had a history of disturbances. They were able to confirm that there were no weapons in the house, and the son was checked by paramedics. However, he refused transport to the hospital. No one pressed charges.
There was a different kind of crisis later in the shift, when a caller told a dispatcher he was thinking about suicide.
Dispatch supervisor Abby Encanacion determined that he was alone with his dog and that he had thought about harming himself before but didn’t do it.
“I’m glad that you didn’t. We’re gonna get someone over there for you,” she said with a genuine concern, which helped establish an emotional bond with the caller. “Is there someone that I need to call to help you or help you with your dog?” she continued.
The caller gave the dispatcher his ex-girlfriend’s number. Encarnacion contacted her and shared with her that her former boyfriend had gone to the hospital.
The caller was not physically harmed and was transported to the hospital for a psych evaluation.
Multiple calls came in concerning a man armed with a gun who was threatening people outside a Pizza Hut and was running back and forth between the front and back of the building.
“He’s out here putting it in people’s faces,” an assistant manager told dispatchers.
The suspect was arrested and taken to jail. No one was harmed at the scene. This case remains open.
On Saturday, a caller reported that a woman was using her car “as a weapon and trying to run people over … It looks like a couple’s dispute.”
Dispatcher Matt Reinke determined from the caller that the woman was in a red Chevy and that there appeared to be no weapons other than the vehicle.
However, in the chaos that could be heard over the call, it sounded like a gun went off. The sound was eventually determined to be a bottle that was hurled at the car, bot a gunshot.
The driver was arrested for felonious assault with a vehicle. She pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial.