911 Operator Saves Her Father's Life -- Her First Day On The Job

The voice on the other end was familiar

First day on the job -- always tough. What if your responsibilities as a new 911 operator involved situations literally about life and death? And what if, after months of training, one of your first calls had a familiar voice on the other end? An aunt who was watching her brother - your father - slip into deadly diabetic shock?

Forget the "In a world..." opening of a summer blockbuster's trailer. This was real, and Crystal Morrow, a rookie 911 operator, had just minutes to save the life of her dad, according to WAGA-TV and sister radio station WYAY.

Morrow was fresh off extensive training and had already answered about 40 calls in the first four hours of her inaugural shift: a burglary here, a house fire there. Then the phone rang and she automatically answered, "Dekalb 911 emergency, what is the address of the emergency," as WYAY reported.

The voice on the other end was...familiar. Could it be? "I heard her voice and saw her name pop up on the screen," Morrow said. "It was my aunt."

Morrow's father had gone into diabetic shock, or severe hypoglycemia - low blood sugar - as health information site WebMD explains. Insulin levels rise quickly. Without quick proper treatment, the person can slide into a coma and die.

With her training, to say nothing of family experience, Morrow knew the stakes. "I did freeze, my hands froze over the keyboard, but I knew I had to get the call in," she told WYAY. Inside she panicked but forced herself to remain calm on the call:

I will get the paramedics started. Are you with him now?" Morrow asked.

"Yes I am," her aunt answered.

"And is he awake?"

"Yes he is."

"I'm sending the paramedics to help you now. Stay on the line and I will tell you exactly what to do next."

Her aunt had no idea who was walking her through the critical next steps while paramedics were on their way.

As unusual as the situation might seem, another 911 operator, Danielle Harvey, who also trained Morrow, said that all staff are trained from day one on the possibility that they may receive a call from a family member.

"She handled it well," Harvey told WYAY. "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."

Morrow credits Harvey with getting her through training and preparing for the sort of phone call no one ever wants to receive.

Those who would like to give a vote of thanks to Harvey for her training skills can literally give her a vote. She's a finalist for a national professional award which includes a plaque and a $1,000 donation to the charity of the winner's choice.

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having been a 911 operator and handling emergency for family members, I applaud this young lady's performance.

August 18 2014 at 12:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Way to go, Girl! As an EMT myself I've handled a few calls with my family while I was on shift and they were nervewracking. I commend you for staying strong!

April 03 2014 at 12:04 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Deborah Ewald

I don't believe in coincidence. The Lord had this all planned out. Perhaps in the future Crystal and her family will "put it together" to see what path the Lord took them down and how this played a part. God Bless You and your family, Crystal. Great job "under fire".

April 02 2014 at 9:12 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

WOW! My son has an application in to do this job. All I've read about it is that it's a terribly stressful job and that one doesn't usually stay on for more than 2 years because of the stress and long hours. ALL 911 calls are emergency's! These people get NO recognition for all the good that they do multi-tasking to get the right people to you and still remain calm while trying to calm you down and get help on your way. Good for YOU Girl!

April 02 2014 at 8:25 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

Way to go, Crystal!!! You are blessed to be a blessing:)

April 02 2014 at 6:29 PM Report abuse +8 rate up rate down Reply

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