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How suicidal Dublin woman's life was saved by 911 worker in Oklahoma

A SUICIDAL mum-to-be's life was saved in Dublin after gardai were alerted to her plight -- by emergency service personnel in America.

The extraordinary incident unfolded when the pregnant woman, said to have a gun, contacted dispatchers in Oklahoma City -- 7,000km from her address in Ireland.

She was threatening to kill herself, saying she wanted to get out of a life of prostitution.

"She was suicidal, had a gun and said she was going to kill herself. Her biggest concern was making sure someone was contacted so her child would be okay.



Award

"She said repeatedly she was trying to get out of the life of prostitution," David Shupe, director of 911 services, said.

The dispatchers were able to determine that the woman was not ringing from within their jurisdiction but she would not give them details of her location.

They were eventually able to alert gardai who managed to find the woman's house from the phone number and broke their way in.

The 911 team in Oklahoma subsequently received a national award in their own country for the effort they made to help the woman.

At 3am US time on March 2, the distressed woman called the seven-digit, non-emergency number for the Oklahoma City dispatch.

Mr Shupe had no idea how the woman got the number for emergency services but his dispatchers knew she needed help.

Dispatch supervisor Steve Vincent said that his team "were doing everything in their power to help this woman, and give her some sort of resolution".

"She was asking for assistance to get out of a lifestyle of prostitution," said Mr Vincent.

"A lot of times with suicidal people, if you can keep them talking until we can get help there, they're not going to do anything."

As she called the seven-digit number instead of 911, dispatchers were unable to track her location.

"We managed ultimately to keep her on the phone for 30 minutes," Mr Shupe said.

The 911 supervisor contacted phone company AT&T, which traced the call to the Isle of Man. The supervisor then contacted the island's police department, which was able to trace the call to Dublin.

Gardai visited the woman's home where they found her with a stab wound to the arm. She was rushed to hospital for treatment.

"This was a pretty interesting piece of work from our perspective. We don't typically get involved with overseas departments.

"It was pretty innovative how the supervisor handled it," Mr Shupe said.

hnews@herald.ie


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