ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. — They were on the opposite end of the country, but a group of emergency dispatchers in California were determined to save the life of a suicidal woman in Rockville Centre on Long Island.
The remarkable cross-country rescue effort began at 6:30 a.m. Wednesday when an Idaho Crisis Center called the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office in California. The crisis center had just spoken to a former Idaho resident who said she planned to kill herself. The crisis center found she had moved to California and believed she was in Alameda County in the Bay Area.
The sheriff’s office jumped onto Facebook to monitor the 52-year-old woman’s account and conducted an emergency phone ping to find her.
While they were searching for her, the woman went live on Facebook from her car. She began cutting herself in front of viewers.
A ping came back. The woman was in Rockville Centre, New York — about 3,000 miles away.
Officials from Alameda County quickly contacted the local Long Island police and advised them about the situation. It was 12:20 p.m. in New York. Emergency dispatch in California described the area the woman was in as best as they could based on the live feed.
Officers from the Rockville Centre Police Department canvassed the streets. Another ping came back around 12:40; they knew what street she was on.
Officers rushed there and found the woman passed out inside her car with lacerations to her arm. She was parked in front of St. Agnes Cathedral.
The woman was brought to Nassau University Medical Center for treatment.
Back in California, the five Alameda emergency services dispatchers who saved the woman’s life are being hailed as heroes.
“They are the professionals behind the scenes who keep us all safe on a daily basis,” the sheriff’s department wrote on Facebook. “Today, they saved a life on the other side of the country.”