A 911 dispatcher in Mesquite helped save the life of a 14-year old boy suffering from heat stroke. The boy was already so sick, he couldn’t say where he was.
When the boy called on Thursday, Christy Russell could not figure out where the boy was calling from. The Mesquite police 911 dispatcher had to pull clues from what she could hear around him and mapping tools in the 911 system to help save the boy’s life.
At first, Russell says she couldn’t hear anyone on the other line. But something told her the call was more than just an accidental dial. “I could hear sort of a muffled static noise in response to questions,” she explained. “So it made me think someone was on the other line trying to talk.”
Finally, she could hear the young boy plead for help. “I could tell something was wrong. He was asking for an ambulance,” Russell recalled. “He was clearly not able to answer my questions clearly. And it sounded like he was far away from the phone.”
The dispatcher couldn’t make out much over the phone but could make out the word ‘alley,’ pinpointing the teen’s exact location in an alley to save his life. “The original location I had was showing a field, not an alley. I started trying to update the location to get a better one. I did eventually get a better location in an alley,” the dispatcher explained. “And that’s where we were able to find him.”
First responders were able to get to the boy suffering from heat stroke in time and took him to the hospital, where he was later released.
Though Russell is credited by some for saving a life, she says she doesn’t consider herself a hero. “This is something that we do every day,” she said. “We always want to help somebody when they call for assistance. That’s what we do.”
Mesquite police believe the boy was walking home from a sports practice. They say it’s just another reminder to be careful in the heat.
We honor you Christy Russell.