Operator Prioritized Call Despite Lack of Information And Police Discovered Double Homicide and One Survivor
On Friday, Mayor Richard J. Berry honored Mr. Struan Robertson, Telecommunicator for the city Communications Center, for his handling of a 911 call that resulted in the discovery of a double homicide and the rescue of a female in critical condition.
On April 23rd, Mr. Robertson was working when he received a call which appeared to be a misdial on a cell phone. Mr. Robertson attempted to engage the caller but there was no response. He tried several times to get a reaction from the person on the other end, but the line was silent. Mr. Robertson contemplated hanging up, but instead he continued to maintain the open line, suspecting that it was a legitimate call for help. Finally he heard a woman moaning, as if in pain. Though it took great effort, the female was eventually able to share an address. Mr. Roberston created a priority 1 call to send rescue and police personnel to the home immediately. He remained calm and stayed on the line with the caller who was able to convey to him that she had been shot. Mr. Robertson continued to update the call so that emergency responders were prepared for exactly what they would be dealing with at the scene. When police arrived at the home on Walter Street, they located two males who were deceased and the female caller who had been shot in the stomach and was in urgent need of medical attention.
It is believed that Mr. Robertson’s instinct in remaining patient and staying on the line until he got a response from the caller was critical in getting the female survivor the emergency medical attention she needed to survive this attack.
“As I’ve said before, our communications personnel provide a vital public safety function on behalf of the citizens of Albuquerque. Mr. Robertson’s handling of this particular 911 call demonstrates how the critical decisions that operators make can mean the difference between life and death. I am certain that his efforts were instrumental to this woman’s survival,” stated Mayor Berry.