Crystal Morrow’s first day as a DeKalb County 911 operator proved to be the ultimate test after the months of training she spent preparing for the job. During the first half of her Monday shift Morrow had answered several calls including one for a burglary in progress and another for a house fire, WYAY All News 106.7 and WAGA Fox 5 reported. Then, just four hours into her day, she picked up a call from what seemed like a very familiar voice. “I heard her voice, and I saw her name pop up on the screen. I was like, ‘Wait. This is my aunt,’” said Morrow. “I did freeze. Like I really, my hands froze over the keyboard but I knew I had to go ahead and get it in.” Her aunt was calling for help because Crystal’s father had gone into diabetic shock.
“Because of so many people being in the room, I didn’t think that I would get the call and it’s crazy that I got it on the very first day,” said the rookie 911 operator. While she was panicking inside, she learned from her training to remain calm and was able to process the emergency call with her aunt.Throughout the exchange, there was no indication that Morrow was distressed (You can hear Morrow on the 911 call here). Morrow walked her aunt step-by-step through what needed to be done and sent an ambulance to her father. The caller never knew that the 911 operator who was helping her was her niece.
Danielle Harvey, Ms. Morrow’s colleague and the woman who trained her for the job, interestingly said that trainees are taught on the first day to field calls from family members. “She handled it well. She took the entire call. She got up after it was over and went out. So I checked on her and told her to go see about her family," Harvey told the station.
Morrow credits Ms. Harvey and the training for her ability to react well to the personal emergency call. “She’s very detailed and she wouldn’t let me sink.So, I am very thankful,” said Morrow. Crystal’s not the only one giving kudos to Danielle Harvey. The 911 trainer and operator is a finalist for a 2014 Smart Telecommunicator award, which honors professionals behind the emergency calls.
Video and more info: WYAY All News 106.7 and WAGA
- 911 operator