911 Call of Man Rescued During Wildfire – Re-Post from SeptemberJanuary 30th, 2014 by Joe Burgess
This recording of the actual 35 minute long 911 call shows the teamwork shown by 911 dispatcher Gayle Hyatt, the sheriff’s dept, the Monticello Fire Dept., the Arkansas Forestry Dept,. and other First Reaponders.
This 911 call kept Mike Fritts in contact with the only lifeline he had, as Hyatt kept him as calm as possible, while other MPD officers watched his cell phone GPS triangulation, and another relayed information to the Forestry Committion’s airplane.
“I’m surrounded by flames,” “I can see a plane coming closer,” “The flames are right here on top of me,” “Take your shirt off and wave it (at the plane), “I can’t hear nothing over the roar of the fire,” “I’m not gonna make it,” then “I can hear the sirens,” and ”I see the police cars,” were among some of the many phrases made during the conversation.
Fritts is new to the area, and was checking on his deer stand, when the fire overtook him.
Hyatt, was able to direct rescue workers to Fritts’ area, where he heard Sheriff Mark Gober’s siren, and was able to be safely rescued.
During the ordeal, Hyatt was hearing flames over phone, but was able to tie together the teamwork together, and bring the lost man to safety.
“Everybody working together is what saved his life,” said Hyatt, who has been a dispatcher for 30 years (and 2 weeks) and plans to retire in December.
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