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What To Do During A Carjacking: '911 Crisis Center' Handles Call From Man Whose Mom's Car Was Stolen

Emergency calls about thefts and break-ins don’t stop for dispatchers during Appreciation Week, as seen in a recent episode of "911 Crisis Center."

A dispatcher featured in 911 Crisis Center

At Chagrin Valley Dispatch in Ohio, Appreciation Week is a time to recognize telecommunicators and their vital roles in communities.

But amid the celebratory atmosphere, the emergency calls keep coming on “911 Crisis Center,” airing Saturdays at 9/8c on Oxygen. 

One involved a robbery in progress by two masked teens demanding an elderly woman to hand over her car keys. When dispatcher Essence Sullins answered the call, she could hear it all playing out in real time. She alerted coworkers, who dispatched police and an ambulance to help the woman, who’d been knocked to the ground. 

“They’re taking the car right now,” the caller told Sullins. “It’s my mother’s car. She’s just been carjacked.”

The caller’s 83-year-old mother injured her back during the altercation but declined transport to the hospital. Her car was recovered three days later but the suspects remained at large.

Jessica Merkosky, who recently completed her certified training officer class, was shadowed during the shift by dispatcher trainee Patrick Mulholland.

“Men outside are trying to break into my house,” a panicked woman told Merkosky. 

RELATED: What To Do When A Baby Is In Distress: Dispatchers Guide Mom Whose Infant ‘Isn’t Breathing Right’

The caller didn’t know if the masked suspects had weapons, but she told the dispatcher she had a gun.

“I am not scared to use it,” the caller said, adding that the firearm was in another room. The information was relayed to responding officers.

When police arrived, a car was running outside the house. The vehicle sped off, leading officers on a high-speed chase. Due to rainy weather and traffic, the pursuit by police was terminated. 

Officers spoke with the caller and she filed a report.

Later in the week, a woman called to report a domestic disturbance. She said her brother was smoking marijuana in her home, despite her warnings. 

Dispatcher Charline Polk advised the sister to separate herself from her brother and that officers were en route. Before police arrived, the brother called 911 to report that his sister stabbed him in the arm.

“I’m bleeding bad,” he said. “She cut me in my arm.” Polk instructed the man to step outside until police and paramedics arrived. The caller was taken to the hospital with multiple stab wounds and an exposed bone. He refused to make a written statement.

In a proud moment for the Chagrin Valley communications hub, dispatcher Tiffany Ward received an award for a call she handled last year involving an armed assailant who had taken a hostage. 

Ward described it as “one of the worst calls I’ve taken.”

She added that getting awards isn’t why she does her job. “But it’s always nice to be told you’re appreciated and that you did a good job.”

To learn more about emergency dispatchers, watch  “911 Crisis Center,” airing Saturdays at 9/8c on Oxygen or stream episodes here.

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