What happens when the 911 call comes from your house?
How many cops work in the same city they live or grew up in? How many cops have prepared to hear their address or their parent’s address over the radio for a medical aid call? How would you feel? How would you react? Do you have a plan or have you planned for this type of scenario? I used to live in the same city I work at, but I never thought about that happening at my house. That is something that happens to someone else, right?
As cops we have a plan for everything. We prepare and act. It’s just the way a person in law enforcement is. I moved out of the city years ago, so I don’t have to worry about hearing my address over the radio, but it recently happened to a friend of mine while he was working. After he told me the story he said, “You can use this on the blog.”
This officer grew up in the city we work in and his parents still live in the same house. In the last few years his mother has battled numerous medical issues, which have been challenging to her and the family. Now, in her mid-sixties, the officer worries about his mother’s health because she is more fragile now. He said he has hoped he would never have to hear his parent’s address over the radio, but because of her declining health he knew it was becoming a possibility. Just by thinking about it, this officer had at least run the scenario through in his head. Have you?
Then one day it happened. He was sitting in his patrol car while talking with another officer when he heard dispatch broadcast a medical aid call. He heard the radio code for medical aid (902M), so he briefly turned his attention to the radio for the location of the call. Any 902M call was always followed by a personal thought hoping it wasn’t his parent’s house. Then the dispatcher broadcasted the call details about a woman who was choking, not breathing and turning blue. This time it was his parent’s house!
A thought of dread punched him in the stomach as he got on the radio and said, “That’s my parent’s house.” He then took off with lights and siren as he rolled toward his childhood house as all kinds of emotions ran through him. With the horrible thought of losing his mother, the distance still couldn’t be covered fast enough as the siren sounded in the background.
Within a minute, another officer arrived at the house and advised over the radio that she was now breathing. When he arrived, he saw the fire truck and ambulance parked in front of the house. He spoke to his father, who had dislodged the food from his wife’s throat with the Heimlich maneuver. She was transported to the hospital because of what had just happened and her fragile health.
Who wouldn’t have driven fast to this, right? The important thing to remember is that he had thought about this ahead of time and he had planned. Despite the highly emotional situation, he still recognized to be careful, despite driving to one of the worst calls anyone could imagine going to.
I wanted to share this story because it might help someone prepare for something we hope never happens.