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When a wrong number goes right

  • Written by San Juan County Sheriff Ron Krebs

In a fortunate set of circumstances today (August 7), Sgt. Herb Crowe of Orcas Island, was attempting to call someone but accidentally misdialed the number. A female answered the phone with a grumpy attitude. Realizing he was not talking to the person he thought he called, he apologized for dialing the wrong number. However, before he could hang up, she said she could not get any help.

Sgt. Crowe, recognizing she was in distress, asked her what was wrong and what kind of help she needed. The woman explained she had a sore on her foot, her house was a mess, and a table was knocked over. She said she didn’t have anyone to help her and that she couldn’t get around.

Sgt. Crowe instructed her to hang up and call 9-1-1 and someone would come to help her. He then called San Juan County Dispatch and spoke with Dispatcher Anthony Calandra to let them know she would be calling and why.

Dispatcher Calandra ran her number through the CAD system and found that local EMS responded to an aid call at her residence a month ago. Rather than waiting, Dispatcher Calandra called her back to determine what kind of aid response she needed.

It turns out she was no longer in the San Juan Islands, but on the mainland just north of Seattle. After determining where she was located, he contacted emergency services in her area, sending the help she needed.

It is hard to say what would have happened or how long she may have remained in distress, but because of Sgt. Crowe’s and Dispatcher Calandra’s actions, she received the care she needed.

It is this kind of professionalism and service that makes the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office employees the best around.

Thank you Sgt. Herb Crowe and Emergency Services Dispatcher Anthony Calandra. You two are a credit to your profession and exemplify community service.

- San Juan County Sheriff Ron Krebs

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