On January 6th, 2019, Telecommunicator Elizabeth Wheeler received a 9-1-1 call from a young man on Grapevine Lake whose kayak had tipped over and blown away. Elizabeth worked quickly to input a call for service and ascertain his location to send first responders.
When the man stated that his legs were becoming numb, Elizabeth encouraged him to continue moving, and assured him that help was on the way. Wind gusts were up to 25mph, and Elizabeth continuously monitored the caller’s latitude and longitude for any location updates. Once the fireboat spotted him and pulled him into the boat, the man was in a hypothermic state from the cold.
Elizabeth stayed on the line with the victim for 25 minutes until his rescue, providing the upmost care, concern and empathy. Her handling of this call, and the calm nature that she provided, is the perfect example of the positive impact Dispatchers can make.
Elizabeth was honored with a Vocational Service Award and monetary gift from Grapevine Rotary for her actions in this case.