Submitted by: Vickie Bucci
When I was rookie dispatcher I got a call on a below zero, snowy January night from a distraught male screaming “she’s dead! “ He had shot his girlfriend in the head but somehow had managed to only get a flesh wound when he turned the gun on himself. His story was that it was a botched suicide pact.
In the time before E911 I had no location information and the only address he could give me was a rural route address ; useless. As police were sent towards the general direction I thought he was at, I had to convince him that he didn’t want to shoot himself and he needed to give me directions to his house so the police could arrest him .
Assuming we’d end up with a barricade situation when the police finally found him I asked if there was anyone else in the mobile home. To my horror he said that yes, his girlfriends 11 yo daughter was asleep in the back. He then immediately started lamenting “what have I done” and “she has nobody now” and “she’d be better off if she were dead too.” I had to get the little girl OUT of that home. The only way out was past her dead mom and the male with the gun.
In the end I managed to get her on the phone, bundled in a blanket , and out the door (looking DOWN) to a neighbors who called us with better directions. I got the male to throw his weapon out the beck door when the police arrived and to surrender with no further incident
I share this story to help explain what it’s like to be a dispatcher. So completely helpless . So frustratingly , maddeningly helpless for those long long calls when it’s all on you while your waiting for the “first responders” to arrive. Many like stories do not have a happy ending and we get to “be there” to hear those as well ; far too often.
Your video captures this amazingly . Thank you Dave for turning the camera onto the invisible dispatchers and including them in your video . A beautiful tribute .