L to R: Duty Officer Supervisor Mike Jenkins,
Duty Officer Gary Martina, Duty Officer Gwen Mason
Duty officers in FHP's Regional Communication Centers across the state receive a wide variety of interesting and sometimes crank calls from members of the public. The duty officer has to use knowledge gained in training and through experience to be able to discern whether a call is from an intoxicated individual, a prankster, or someone in medical distress. On a recent Sunday, Duty Officer Gary Martina received such a call in the Tallahassee Regional Communications Center.
The caller contacted FHP and literally babbled "ahh…ahh…' with some distress in his voice. Martina patiently listened to the incoherent caller who continued to babble totally unintelligible words without stopping for several minutes. Martina then became concerned and alerted Duty Officer Supervisor Mike Jenkins who took over the call. Jenkins then listened and agreed with Martina that the call may be medical in nature, and not from an intoxicated caller, and proceeded under the assumption that the caller was experiencing a medical emergency and was unable to speak clearly.
As Jenkins stayed on the phone, Duty Officers Casey Crowell and Gwen Mason began to assist him by notifying the local exchange carrier of the need for an emergency trace to establish a location of the caller. Because this occurred on a Sunday, no regular Sprint Customer Service agents were available. The duty officers worked together to call different departments of Sprint to finally reach a technician who could assist. Finally, the caller's location was determined and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) was dispatched to the victim's residence in Gadsden County. When the EMS workers arrived they found the victim sitting on his front porch covered with blood from a serious head wound. EMS advised FHP that the caller had suffered a stroke and during the episode had fallen through a window sustaining lacerations to the head.
The duty officers involved are to be commended for correctly assessing this situation, making the correct determination that this wasn't a crank caller, working as a team to locate the caller, and coordinating a successful life saving rescue. Great job!