Wapello County dispatcher saves a life with quick thinking

The Wapello County law enforcement community recognized one of their own Friday afternoon for her outstanding efforts on the job.

A few months ago, dispatcher Betsy Lewis took a 9-1-1 call from a person threatening to end their life. The call came from a cell phone with an out-of-state area code and the first thing the caller asked was if the call could be traced. After Betsy spent about 45 minutes on the phone, the person unexpectedly ended the call.

Instead of giving up, Betsy called the phone company, checked department records and used information from cell phone towers in the area to narrow down the neighborhood and send deputies to the caller's location.

Thanks to her hard work, deputies on the scene were able to save the person's life.

Wapello County Sheriff Mark Miller arranged the meeting Friday because dispatchers are often the unsung heroes of law enforcement, but for Betsy, it was just another night on the job.

"You just kind of work through the situation when it happens, but later on, you have time to think about it," she said. "But it's definitely a training thing that's going to stay with me with that."

Betsy has worked as a dispatcher for 12 years and said she never considered giving up on the caller, even when tracking down the location was dead-end after dead-end.

"I'd take eight to 12 hours longer, however long my shift goes through that night," she said. "If it's something like that, I'll research it until the end."

To thank her for her hard work, Sheriff Miller presented Betsy with a personalized Wapello County Sheriff's jacket.