Panicked 911 caller to dispatch: ‘I’m submerged!’

A car is partially submerged during flooding at E. Harry and S> Rock Rd. on Friday, Sept. 9, 2016. (Photo courtesy District Chief Dan Wagner/SCFD)

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Emergency dispatchers in Sedgwick County got a number of calls last Friday from people stranded in their cars and homes. Emergency crews responded to dozens of high-water rescues, and now KSN has obtained some of those calls.

A car is partially submerged during flooding at E. Harry and S> Rock Rd. on Friday, Sept. 9, 2016. (Photo courtesy District Chief Dan Wagner/SCFD)
A car is partially submerged during flooding at E. Harry and S> Rock Rd. on Friday, Sept. 9, 2016. (Photo courtesy District Chief Dan Wagner/SCF

One of the people who called told the dispatcher that she and her brother were trapped inside their Dodge Charger on Harry Street near Rock Road.

“We’re in the flooding behind Starbucks Coffee on Harry and Rock Road. Our car is in the canal and we’re upside down and the car is filling up with water,” the victim told dispatch.

The victim begged dispatch to send her help.

“Yes, we’re under water right now. The car is flipped upside down,” she said. “Please, hurry! Please!”

The dispatch is heard trying to keep the caller calm as the victim breaks down in tears.

“I’m getting the call dispatched out. Stay on the phone with me, OK?” the dispatcher said to the victim. “Stay on the phone. You’re doing good.”

While the dispatcher continues to talk the caller down, people nearby stop to try and help the victims.

“They had their lights on their phone as a signal to say hey, help we’re drowning,” said Isaac Belton.

Belton was at work nearby when he saw the commotion. He said he felt helpless knowing that if he went in the rushing water he may become a victim too.

“Powerless,” Belton said. “You couldn’t go in the water you would just get washed away.”

The victim relayed that message to dispatch.

“Like I can barely see over the back windshield out of the water,” she said. “I’m submerged.”

Within seconds, emergency crews arrived on scene.

“The firefighter got a big wedge, broke the trunk open and he was just trying to get everything out and we were helping him,” Belton said.

Belton said one firefighter stood on top of the floating car and pulled the victims to safety through the trunk.

“I’m sure they literally saw their life before their eyes,” he said.

KSN is told the victims is OK.

 

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