Veteran Considering Suicide is Saved by Efforts of Ionia County 9-1-1 Dispatcher
September 29, 2016
A dispatcher receives SmartSave Award in recognition of efforts to deliver help to a veteran in crisis.
Dispatcher John Wiechethal from Ionia County Central Dispatch is being recognized for his outstanding efforts to aid an individual in need using Smart911, the County’s lifesaving 9-1-1 service.
Supervisor Kevin Booth presented John Wiechethal with his second SmartSave Award from Smart911 which honors and rewards 9-1-1 call takers, dispatchers, and emergency responders for their dedication and excellence while responding to an emergency.
Early in the morning on Sept. 7, dispatcher Wiechethal received a call from a veteran crisis line.
They informed him that there was a woman calling in and stating that she was going to kill herself by walkin g into traffic. The crisis line had very little information to go on with just a name which they relayed to Ionia Dispatch.
Wiechethal used the woman’s name and phone number to initiate a text message dialog using the chat feature of Smart911. Wiechethal was able engage the woman and gain a lot of information as well as a meet location for the state trooper to be dispatched.
The state trooper was then able to meet with this woman and not only provide help to her, but also her boyfriend who was also considering committing suicide.
“Without this tool for us to use there is no way we would been able to help her,” said Booth. “As it turned out, we were able to save two lives that morning, as the boyfriend was also making statements of suicide.”
Residents are encouraged to create their Safety Profile with Smart911 at Smart911.com to have their information immediately available to 9-1-1 in an emergency. Smart911 data is private and secure, is only used for emergency responses and available to the 9-1-1 system in the event of an emergency call.