Effingham County Sheriff Dave Mahon Recognized two telecommunicators for exceptional work while on a 911 call. On June 30, at 1:30 p.m., Telecommunicator Billie Bales received a 911 call that initially sounded like a prank. The caller was actually an elderly woman who was suffering a stroke in her van in the Effingham Wal-Mart Parking lot. The victim was unable to speak and could not even honk the van’s horn to signal for help.
Bales plotted the call while another Telecommunicator, Niki Hoffman, made calls to EMS, Effingham City Police, and Effingham County Deputies to respond to the general area in an attempt to locate the victim.
The victim was only able to respond to questions with “u-hu or hunt-u,” forcing Bales to ask numerous questions in order to narrow down what type of vehicle the victim was in. Through the process of elimination with Bales asking questions and Hoffman relaying information to police, the victim was located before it was too late.
“We are very proud of T/C Bales calm intelligent demeanor and the back –up teamwork provided by T/C Hoffman. Billie and Niki might just consider this as part of their job, but we think it represents the outstanding work the Telecomunicators do here at the Sheriff’s Office.” Said Sheriff Mahon. He said that the general public doesn’t often see the inner workings of the 911 center.