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Crime News 911 Crisis Center

How '911 Crisis Center' Dispatchers Helped A Woman Whose Ex-Husband Overdosed

On a recent episode of "911 Crisis Center," Chagrin Valley Dispatch staff braced for non-stop emergencies that come with a holiday weekend.


By Joe Dziemianowicz
Dispatchers featured in 911 Crisis Center

At the beginning of Memorial Day weekend, the staff of Chagrin Valley Dispatch in Ohio braced for non-stop calls. As expected, reports of emergencies of every sort rushed in, as seen on a recent episode of “911 Crisis Center,” airing Saturdays at 9/8c on Oxygen.

How to Watch

Catch up on 911 Crisis Center on Peacock or the Oxygen App.

As Chagrin Valley staff handled calls, supervisor Charline Polk was concerned that a dispatcher was a no-show.

“I'm starting to get a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach,” she said. 

As someone who handles unexpected emergencies all day, she grew concerned enough to request a welfare check by police. Fortunately, the situation was resolved without incident. 

It wasn't the only situation that ended up being resolved peacefully. A call concerning bones found by a woman who suspected they were human remains ended up being a false alarm. An officer dispatched to the location identified them as deer bones. In an unrelated call, a caller said she believed she spied a scorpion at a playground. Police investigated and identified the critter as a crawfish. It was moved to a safer location.

But for one local family, Memorial Day weekend turned violent. A woman called to report that her nephew shot her husband, who’d threatened the young man with a knife. 

The bullet hit the uncle in the neck. “I’m bleeding out!” the victim could be heard screaming in the background.

Dispatchers instructed the caller to use a towel to apply pressure to the wound, while determining whether or not the nephew still had the gun.

Officers arrived and detained the man, while the uncle was transported to the hospital and stabilized by the trauma team. The nephew was arrested, but after the self-defense board ruled, the charges were dropped. 

Dispatchers also picked up a call from a woman whose 34-year-old ex-husband had come to her home before overdosing. Asked if she knew what he’d taken, the caller said, “Heroin. There’s a needle in his hand.”

The woman said she’d administered Narcan that she had on hand to reverse the drug effects. Dispatchers confirmed that the man wasn’t breathing and that his ex-wife knew how to do CPR until paramedics arrived.

Related: What It Means When 911 Dispatchers Are In ‘The Loop’ — And How They Handle It

She continued chest compressions until medical help arrived. Despite lifesaving efforts by everyone, the man died. 

For an emergency concerning a stolen car leading to a high-speed chase by police, the dispatch team rallied together to provide support for officers in pursuit.

“Pursuits are extremely dangerous, and they're not just dangerous for the police,” said dispatcher Matt Reinke. “They’re dangerous for the suspect, and they're dangerous for the public.”

The suspect crashed the car. After a tense standoff with police, the armed man eventually got out of the car and surrendered. 

The suspect was brought into custody safely. He was later charged with failing to comply with the police order and receiving stolen property. He pleaded not guilty.

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

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