Everyday Heroes

Caller Meets And Thanks The 911 Dispatcher Who Helped Save His Wife’s Life

Cue the tears. This will make your heart happy.

Most 911 calls happen like this: A caller calls 911, a dispatcher picks up and calmly tells the person what the next steps are until medical professionals and rescue crews arrive at the scene, and then stays on the phone with that person until the first responders arrive. For the dispatcher, the ordeal usually ends when the caller hangs up.

On a calm January morning, Bob Stephens was the caller. His wife was losing blood from a stent chipping her intestines. Stephens, like most people in this situation, was filled with so many emotions, wondering how he would ever fix this situation to save his wife’s life.

The dispatcher who took Stephens’ call was Melissa Behn, a Palm Beach County Fire Rescue dispatcher. With a calm tone in her voice, she guided Stephens to calm down; in the 911 call, you can hear Behn telling Stephens to take a deep breath. She told him to grab a clean town and apply pressure. Paramedics came shortly thereafter and took his wife, Carolyn, to the hospital.

But Stephens, after Carolyn was stabilized in the hospital, had to make a second 911 call. This time, he wanted to thank Behn for her actions.

“I really want something in her file and to tell her thank you more than anything,” he told Behn when he called a second time.

Behn was taken aback by the call, since most callers don’t call dispatchers a second time to thank them for doing their job.

And Stephens didn’t stop there. Months after the call was made, Stephens met with Behn in person and thanked her again for saving Carolyn’s life.

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Joe Forzano

Even though Behn “just happened to be the one to pick it up,” she treats each caller as family, and she felt blessed for helping out one of her own “family members.”

“Hearing what happened, and that I did make a difference makes me feel like these 17 years have been worth it,” Behn said.