911 Dispatcher Sends Mom to Save Stranded Kayaker Because the Sheriff Was Too Slow

kayakerSometimes it pays to think outside the box. Sometimes it can even save lives. Take Raedyn Grasseth, a 911 dispatcher in Washington State. When she got a call from a 45-year-old woman who was stranded in the Ohio river after her kayak sank in a swift current, hanging on to "log pilings" for dear life (how she managed to make a call on her cell phone I don't know, but never mind), Grasseth's first response was to notify the Sheriff's office. Because that's job protocol, of course.

But as soon as Grasseth got off the phone with the Sheriff, she realized something: Her own mother, Cindy Faubion, along with a few other members of her family, lived much closer to where the boater was stranded and could kayak out to save her long before the Sheriff's patrol boat would arrive. (Does everybody in that town own a kayak, btw?)


So Grasseth did something rather unorthodox. Something that is probably in direct violation of some dispatcher rule or another. Grasseth called her mom, and guess what? Faubion and family paddled right out there and rescued that stranded, wet, cold woman in record time.

Who knows what might have happened if Grasseth followed the rules? By the time the patrol boat made it to the scene, the kayaker could have gotten hypothermia or lost her grip and been washed away by the strong current. That's what I mean about thinking outside the box, you dig?

And of course props must go out to Cindy Faubion and the family members who helped -- not everyone would be willing to drop everything at a moment's notice and paddle out into a freezing river to save a complete stranger. I hope somebody baked them a pie or something.

Do you think this 911 dispatcher did the right thing?


Image via brewbooks/Flickr

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