Excellence in Emergency Response – 911 Communicator Caitlin Summers
This occurrence is a perfect example of the critical role 911 communicators play in public safety while demonstrating calm and quick-thinking under extreme pressure.
On October 8, 2019, Communicator Caitlin Summers received a 911 cell phone call from a cell phone which provided no call back number or location. Summers could hear a male and a female screaming and quickly determined the female was very afraid for her safety. Summers could not immediately establish voice contact but stayed on the line while documenting the details she could hear. Summers eventually established some voice contact with the woman who indicated she was in Barrie but could no longer talk because the suspect was back. The woman was continually crying and at times hysterical. “Help me. Please help me,” she whispered to Summers.
Unbeknownst to the male in the car with her, the female caller kept the line open and tried to give Summers clues as to where and what direction he was taking her in hopes of sharing something that could assist police in locating them. This information led Summers to contact Barrie Police to ask them to check an area where Summers believed them to be. Summers was also able to acquire the male’s name by listening intently to what the victim was saying which assisted Barrie Police in determining that the male was the same suspect they were looking for in an assault call from earlier that day. The man had an extensive criminal record and was considered armed and dangerous.
Communicator Summers remained on the line and continued to relay information to Barrie Police so that they could locate the woman. The woman continued to mention some landmarks at their current location, without arousing suspicion from the suspect. Summers remained on the line for 31 minutes and as a result of her actions, Barrie Police eventually located the vehicle as it was attempting to head out of the city.
The man was arrested without incident and the woman was brought to safety.
Summers remained calm and professional under very difficult circumstances and by utilizing her training and experience, she can proudly say that she saved the victim that day.