A call to an emergency dispatcher is usually a plea for help because of a medical emergency, domestic violence or accident.
Every so often, dispatchers like Raven McMinn, a communications officer with the Camden County Sheriff’s Office, get a call that is among the most challenging to deal with: a caller threatening suicide.
McMinn got one of those calls on Dec. 30 from a distressed individual threatening to commit suicide by using a handgun.
McMinn deescalated the situation following the guidelines of her training and by showing a caring and compassionate attitude while convincing the caller not to pull the trigger. By the time law enforcement officials arrived, the situation had been deescalated, and the weapon was secured.
While McMinn stayed on the phone with the caller, other dispatchers handled the calls she would have normally taken.
Sheriff Jim Proctor presented the Life Saving Award to McMinn in a ceremony in recognition of her role in preventing a tragedy.
“It is with great pleasure I present Raven McMinn with this life saving award,” Proctor said. “The 911 communications officers never know what they will have to deal with when answering a call. I applaud Raven for her actions which saved a person’s life. I would also recognize the team work of the other working communications officers that kept the 911 center operational while Raven assisted the distressed individual.”