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Dispatcher Ingenuity & Facebook Entry Helps Locate Injured Hiker

Date: 2015-01-20
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When Solano County (Northern CA) Sheriff’s dispatchers received a 9-1-1 call from a young boy reporting his father had fallen while hiking, the call didn’t last long enough to determine an accurate location. But trainee Breanna Martinez then came up with an idea - she searched on the father’s name in Google, came up with a LinkedIn page, which led to a Facebook page and an important clue. The most recent entry said that Ryan Pritchard and his son were hiking a specific trail near Lake Berryessa, 30 miles from the cellular tower that received the 9-1-1 call. Martinez and dispatchers Sheri Speakman and Melissa Kunz requested a CHP helicopter into the area, and the air crew soon spotted the son. A medic was lowered into the area, where Pritchard had fallen 150 feet off a cliff and into a tree. He was airlifted to a hospital and will survive.

- People, Places & Things/9-1-1magazine.com (via Dispatch Monthly, 1/7/15)

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