Dispatcher hailed as hero for quick-thinking 911 texts

Dylan Prather (WISH Photo)

BARTHOLOMEW COUNTY, Ind. (WISH) — A Bartholomew County dispatcher is being called a hero after how he responded to a 911 call.

In the call you can hear dispatcher, Dylan Prather, ask, “911 what’s your emergency?” A woman is in the background. She’s not speaking to him directly. You can her faintly her saying “Put the gun away.”

It was those words, “Put the gun away,” that got Prather’s attention. “When the 911 call came and she mentioned put the firearm down, I knew we had something more serious,” he told 24-Hour News 8.

Prather immediately went into action mode. He sent deputies to where the call was coming from. He tried talking to the woman, but she did not respond. What he did next could be the difference between life and death for the woman. Prather began texting her using the center’s Text for 911 system. In one text the woman tells Prather, “He is still saying he is going to kill me.”

“There was a lot going on. I didn’t know if he was going to hurt himself, he was going to hurt her,” Prather said. “I had no idea what was going on. I just knew someone needed help and we needed to get there right away.”

Police arrived not long after and arrested Joshua Michael Hehman for domestic battery while in the presence of a minor. Director of the Emergency Operations Center, Ed Reuter, believes the woman and a child were found unharmed thanks to Prather’s quick thinking.

“He gained critical information from the victim which potentially saved her life from serious bodily injury before Bartholomew County deputies could arrive,” Reuter said.

Prather is a hero to those in the area, but if you ask him, he was just doing his job.

“It was nice to go home at the end of the night and know you made a difference,” Prather explained. “Dispatchers do this every day, they’re just not recognized for what they do.”

According to Reuter, Bartholomew County was one of the first counties in the state to use Text to 911 service. They began using it in May of 2014.

Below is an example of the text conversation between the two. Some information has been changed to protect the victim.

SENT TO GATEWAY @ 04:07:37Bartholomew Co 911: This is 911……is everything okay?
(812) XXX-XXXX

RECEIVED @ 04:08:07 He put the gun down but I don`t think he`s stable

SENT TO GATEWAY @ 04:08:16Bartholomew Co 911: Are you able to talk?

RECEIVED @ 04:08:25 No

SENT TO GATEWAY @ 04:08:28Bartholomew Co 911: What is name? And what kind of gun?

RECEIVED @ 04:09:35Joshua Hehman. 12 g shotgun. XXXXX legal tender dr lot XX e town he is still saying he is going to kill me

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