If there was a bright spot in the senseless, difficult night last weekend that left police officer Ella French dead and her partner seriously wounded, it was the actions of an emergency dispatcher who brought calm, order and help during the critical moments after the shooting.
A 10 minute clip of police radio transmissions the night of Aug. 7 shows the dispatcher taking command of the situation following the shooting at 63rd Street and Bell Avenue.
“Two ambulances, two ambulances needed for two officers down, two officers down … six-three and Bell. I want a perimeter set up three blocks north, south, east, west of that location,” he says urgently.
Over the few next minutes, the dispatcher relays suspect descriptions, calls for a helicopter search and tells an officer to give Officer French chest compressions as a squad car rushes her to the hospital.
He even had the presence of mind to suggest taking one of the wounded officers to better-equipped University of Chicago trauma center, rather than nearby Holy Cross Hospital.
We’re not shy about taking city officials and employees to task on these pages whenever we feel they’ve fallen down in the job.
But here’s a city worker who appears to have done an exemplary job under the toughest circumstances. We couldn’t let it go unnoted here.