Lifestyle & Human Interest

When Terrified Teen Hides From Burglars and Calls 911, Dispatcher's Quick Thinking Saves Her Life


The news is filled with stories of regular people performing extraordinary tasks to save the life of others during dangerous situations. These stories share the common theme of ordinary heroes that saved the day.

However, each story is uniquely interesting in how God uses a specific person’s talents, knowledge, or even just them being at the right place at the right time to ensure these stories have positive endings. One woman, Danette Purvis, had only completed her CPR training less than 24 hours before she used those skills to save her coworker’s life.

People like Purvis have used their small amounts of experience to do incredible life-saving acts. God also uses the experienced to offer comfort to those who need it most.

12-year-veteran police dispatcher Angie Rivera knew from experience that ensuring her callers stay calm can mean the difference between life or death. When Rivera received an incoming call from 15-year-old Doyin home alone while robbers were actively searching her home, her experience as a dispatcher plus her motherly instinct took over to creatively make sure Doyin remained unharmed while the intruders rummaged through the house.

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When Doyin realized strange men were entering her home, she ran to her parents’ closet and hid behind a rack of clothing. She called 911 and thankfully, Rivera was on the line ready to comfort and direct Doyin during the scariest moments of her life.

Rivera kept Doyin on the line with her calm voice as she reassured Doyin that help was on the way, and that she was not alone in this terrifying situation. The phone call, which you can find below, became alarming when the men’s voices started to get louder and clearer, signaling that they were very close to the closet in which Doyin was hiding.

Rivera had to think quickly about how to instruct Doyin and keep her calm while ensuring the noise from talking on the phone would not draw attention to Doyin and her hiding spot. She first told Doyin not to talk once she realized how close the intruders were.

She wanted to keep Doyin on the line so she instructed her to tap the phone in a specific way to communicate “yes” or “no” responses to the questions Rivera calmly asked. Thankfully, the police arrived in time to catch the intruders.

The police even found Doyin calmly hidden in the closet thanks to the comfort and direction Rivera offered over the phone. Rivera’s burst of creativity during a dangerous situation has given her the label of “hero” in her hometown, and Doyin has expressed her deep gratitude for Rivera being the calm voice she needed.

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Carolyn Fultz is a former contributor for Liftable Media. She holds a B.A. in Communication from Hope College.
Carolyn Fultz is a former contributor for Liftable Media. She holds a B.A. in Communication from Hope College. Carolyn's writing has been featured in both online and print media, including Just Between Us magazine. She resides in Phoenix with her husband and children.
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