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A Life-Changing Call Leads to a Life of Service

EMS Workers United
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Editor’s Note: 911 dispatchers are vital to the emergency response system. They remain poised and professional in crises and coordinate a range of emergency services. In short, they are vital links in the chain of survival. (To learn more, go here). Here’s the story of one such professional.

Darin Glodo is an 18-year veteran public safety communicator – a 911 operator in common parlance – for the city of Tulsa, Oklahoma. He charts his passion for his job to a single, life-changing call he fielded in 2002, at the dawn of his career.

Glodo had only been on the job for about a year-and-a-half – still a relative newcomer in the emergency response field and uncertain of whether he was passionate enough to make it his career. That was before he took a call one day from a woman who, terrified, explained that her sister had been kidnapped. She was calling him while speaking to her abducted sister.

Glodo gathered as much information as possible while trying to calm the caller down. She explained that her sister had been kidnapped in Tulsa and that her captor had been keeping her in the trunk of a car as he fled the city. He had let her out of the car briefly, allowing her to make that lone call, though she had no idea where she was.

Acting quickly because time was of the essence, Glodo knew he had to use the caller as a go-between to pinpoint where they were. Making matters even more challenging, Glodo had to ply the caller with questions – to be relayed to the kidnapped sister during the brief release she’d been given – in a way that wouldn’t tip off the kidnapper that the police were now involved.

“On these kinds of calls, we’re trained to ask questions in a specific manner so as not to alert someone else that we’re looking for very specific details,” recalls Glodo. “On this call, though, I had to use the caller as my interviewer to get details.”