heroLocal 9-1-1 Heroes

This section is dedicated to individuals who do the right thing at the right time. Whether they call 9-1-1 for police, fire or ambulance response, or assist public safety personnel when there is an immediate need, we want to recognize their efforts.

If you have an incident worthy of recognition, contact our webmaster with the information.


January 29, 2008 - The entire Red Dispatch Team received a commendation from Lt. Hurley of the Sheriff's Office for their performance during a shooting that occurred in the Live Oak area. Dave, Val, Anna, Beth and Tracy fielded the many 9-1-1 calls that were generated and quickly updated the call with pertinent suspect and location information. Amanda kept the responding law units apprised of all new info including escape routes for the suspects while the rest of the team made sure responding medics knew the exact location of the victim so help could arrive as quickly as possible. "The successful apprehention of the suspects was no doubt, attributed in part by your individual contribultions and your combined team response that day" - Kevin Fink, Operations Supervisor.

January 15, 2008 - The entire dispatch team received a commendation from the Chief of the Aptos Fire Department for their handling of a structure fire in which a victim perished. Dispatchers Melody and Karen handled the original 9-1-1 calls, including one from the victim. Dispatcher Jim was on the radio calmly managing the traffic from several fire agencies as they worked to extinguish the fire. The rest of the team supported them in answering the many phone calls and notifiying the law agencies.

October 24, 2007 - Melody handled a medical call where the patient wasn't breathing, the victim of an attempted suicide. Melody, who had only recently completed her emergency medical dispatcher training, used her new skills to provide CPR instructions for the young woman, who survived in part thanks to Melody's calm assistance to the citizens on-scene and her expert use of ProQA.

September 29, 2007 - The entire dispatch team earned a commendation for its handling of an assault with a deadly weapon call in the city of Santa Cruz. Dispatcher Melanie did an outstanding job getting information from a hostile and uncooperative witness. Dispatcher Meghan was kind and reassuring to a woman who had children at a house neer the scene of the shooting. Adrienne, Ashley, and Lyndsay earned commendations for their teamwork dispatching Santa Cruz police and keeping up with all of the associated radio traffic. Jim dispatched fire and ambulance, while Tammy and Suzie handled went above and beyond handling the other calls for service.

June 20, 2007 - Making sense out of chaos sometimes takes a team effort. That was the case this morning, when dispatchers learned that a Capitola police officer was stopping a stolen vehicle in the area of Monterey and Washburn. Although the officer had the suspect at gunpoint, he fled the area and the chase was on!

Dispatcher's immediately send Santa Cruz Sheriff's deputies and the Santa Cruz Police Department's K-9 unit to the area to help with the pursuit. Eight minutes later, the suspect hit one of the Capitola police officers with the stolen vehicle, injuring him. The suspect then fled towards the densly populated Capitola Village at 70 mph, quickly crashing the car into a house, which then caught fire! Some 30 minutes after the call started, the suspect ran out of the burning house, was chased down on foot and arrested.

Among those dispatchers singled out for the work they did on this call were Suzie and Adrienne, who were calm, professional and never missed radio traffic on their very busy channels. Chuck and Beth coordinated the fire and ambulance response. The job was complicated by the fact the fire department couldn't go into the burning house because of the dangerous suspect, and the police officers couldn't endanger themselves by going in after the suspect becasue the house was on fire.

Every dispatcher in the room worked hard making phone calls for the primary dispatchers and answering the many, MANY incoming lines (including calls from the media). Teamwork and professionalism ruled the day.

January 23, 2007 - Sometimes, just being the calm, caring voice on the other end of the line is enough to help citizens through difficult experiences. One such person called dispatcher Anna a "lifesaver" for her assistance during a very frightening time. The terrified citizen was reporting a prowler, and said later that she was grateful for Anna's professional handling of the call...offering reassurance while obtaining pertinent information to get help on the scene.

January 5, 2007 - Ben helped deliver a baby for the first time in his 20-plus year career on this day. At the other end of the 9-1-1 line was an off-duty California Highway Patrol officer, who's wife had gone into labor and was ready to deliver their second child. Ben expertly led the called through the emergency medical protocols, helping deliver the baby before fire and ambulance arrived on scene. Ben calmly provided the baby's father the exact tools he needed to successfully accopmplish the complicated task without incident.

June 12, 2006 - Dispatcher Marr received a "million gold stars" for his handling of a medical call on April 30, 2006.

April 27, 2006 - Dispatcher Ayers receives commendation for confusing two-hour period of radio traffic during the March 10th ice storm.

April 26, 2006 - Watsonville PD Officer Ibarra commends Dispatchers Puga, Leon, Hendrix, French, Brighton, Krakowiak and Irving for providing critical information in a timely manner to resolve a barricaded suspect situation.

March 24, 2006 - Manager Douglass' extraordinary work effort as a new manager in a new division with new employees is recognized!

March 21, 2006 - Kudos to Dispatcher Heebner for her exceptional handling of a motorist who found a man lying on the side of the road. The man unfortunately did not survive but with the dispatchers persistence the suspect's name was obtained.

March 18, 2006 - Aptos/La Selva Fire Protection District, Harbor Patrol and American Medical Response praise Dispatchers Ayers, McAllister and Miller for their hard work on a very busy night.

March 18, 2006 - Officer Ibarra commends Dispatcher Sumner for his handling of a vandalism in progress call that led to three arrests for felony vandalism and gang enhancement crimes.

January 21, 2005 - Over 140 Firefighters Involved in Watsonville Hotel Fire & 01-15-05 Officials Praise Response to Giant Blaze (NetCom Dispatchers got them there and coordinated efforts!)

September 20, 2003 - A 14 year old called to report an assault on her 12 year old friend. The 14 year old was very calm and well spoken. She was very brave and stayed with her friend until officers could arrive.

August 24, 2003 - Quick action on the part of a Doctor's clinic, combined with quick action on the part of the emergency medical dispatcher and responding medical personnel resulted in saving a 57 year old patient from cardiac arrest. Great teamwork resulted in a field save. All parties involved did an outstanding job of providing patient care.

November 12, 2002 - When an off-duty San Mateo County Sheriff's Deputy was killed in a fatal traffic accident, a request for a Catholic Priest was made by the Coroner's Office. After several attempts to contact one, a Boulder Creek Church readily agreed to help. The Church's willingness to help in this time of need is greatly appreciated and well worth recognition.

June 16, 2002 - . Stephen was visiting New Brighton State Beach when he witnessed a man fall from a fifty (50) foot cliff above the beach. Stephen rushed to assist and immediately began CPR. Stephen showed a rare display of compassion and is a 9-1-1 hero in our books!

March 2002 - Amy, a student at Scotts Valley High School, completed a school project that would provide information to teenagers calling 9-1-1. She put together a great information brochure and we have included it in our website. Click here to access the information. (The file is in MS Word format and 347K in size). Quantities of this brochure may be requested from the Support Services Division.


Santa Cruz Regional 911
495 Upper Park Rd.
Santa Cruz, CA 95065
(831) 471-1000

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