WALTON COUNTY, Fla.— A stranded boater received immediate assistance from a dispatcher with the Walton County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) using the agency’s new video technology, said the WCSO.
According to the WCSO, a dispatcher using a new video streaming technology is credited with helping recover a stranded boater in Choctawhatchee Bay.
It happened this way: At around 12:30 pm on April 5, the WCSO said it received a frantic 911 call from a woman whose husband had fallen overboard while on their boat in the Choctawhatchee Bay.
She told dispatchers she was drifting away from his location, losing sight of him, and could not get the boat started.
Using the RapidDeploy mapping solution, WCSO dispatcher Heather Mayo initiated a live 911 video stream and was able to help the caller get the boat started. With the enhanced 911 location feature of RapidDeploy, Mayo was able to help the caller retrace her route back to her husband and get him back on board.
“This technology is critical in situations where we need to see what the caller is seeing,” said Walton County Sheriff Michael Adkinson.
“The bay was choppy that afternoon, and had we not been able to walk her through this situation, she may not have been able to retrieve her husband from the water.”
“Every second matters when it comes to saving lives. Streamlined access to life-saving data can make all the difference,” Adkinson said.
“Heather Mayo was calm in a chaotic situation and was able to guide the caller throughout the entire situation.”