It was a dark night about an hour after a severe storm rolled by. A couple who is going to be married in 2 weeks decides to take a ride in the cooler air. They are driving less then 2 miles from the house. They crest a hill and see a piece of tree in the road with some water on the road. They drive just a tad further and see it doesn't look save, the go to reverse their car and BAM a wall of water from a field slams their car and floats them helplessly into a field, water fills the car fast, it isn't long till water is up to the dash, the woman dials 911 in a frantic trying to get some help. The car finally comes to rest several hundred yards of the road in a field. They are far off the road, cant be seen by on-coming traffic. 911 Tones responders, water fills the car. The woman is standing on her seat as water comes about half way up her window. The water is swift and cold. The man is desperately trying to figure out how to save them, he is bailing water out his open window in hopes that it wont fill his(the car is angled against the tree and he is elevated). They are able to shine a light to the responders, they are scene, they hear on a 2 way radio in the car the fire dept sees them. The woman stays on the line talking to the 911 dispatcher, the dispatcher assures her and reassures her. Finally an hour after being trapped the water slowly starts to recede, its down below her window now. They are both freezing after being stuck in the water now over an hour. About 2 hours into the ordeal a boat gets to them pulls them out and takes them to dry land. They have lost their car, but they are alive, have each other and will marry on June 28th, 2009, in their front yard less then 2 miles from where they almost died.
How do I know this story so well? No I was not the dispatcher who took the call, I was the dispatcher driving the car. 2 nights ago I thought i was going to die. I thought I would never see my fiance alive again, or my daughters , my (almost here) granddaughter or anyone I know or love. The fear swept over me though somehow I managed to keep it together for the 2 hours or so we were trapped. Sandy (my fiance) stayed on the phone with the 911 dispatcher by almost pushing her head to the roof of the car. We lost them twice but each time reconnected. While the dispatcher didn't have many instructions (man we need to look at a swift water rescue card as opposed to a sinking vehicle), both of their professionalism and dedication showed. They kept Sandy busy, so that she didn't go under or give up. The fire Department affected a great rescue and we are safe thanks God.
I know what it is like on the dispatch side taking the call like this. I have wondered if they would make it, if i would be the last person they talk too, if they will ask me to tell a family member they love them. All those thoughts go through your head as a dispatcher taking a call. So many more go through when your in the car. I will not go into a lot of those now, i will share them with anyone off list, but let me just say i thought we were dead. We were almost chin high seated , in the water. (sandy got higher by standing on the seat I am to big a guy for that). The thoughts for the first hour were how could i save sandy even if it costs me my life, and to be honest, also how I could end life without having to drown to death (that's got to be a terrible way to go). But Someone had and has bigger plans for us. I can tell you when we went back to see the car yesterday, we were 1 foot away from going into the dry creek bed that has 6 foot banks, we would have been turned upside down, but thank god we stopped miraculously there were we did.
We look back at it now, I will never again say something like "how could they be so crazy to drive in the water, or how could they not see it? I couldn't it came as a surprise, out of no where like a wall of thunder or a freight train. I learned many lessons that day, one is definitely to be more understating of circumstances we dispatch too. Our preconceived notions we have sometimes could be way off....