Increase in suicide calls takes toll on 911 dispatchers
Sarah Jane Kyle
June 21, 2016
Increasing suicides and suicide threat calls have become "a daily occurrence" in the last five years, he said. Last year, 81 people died by suicide in Larimer County, nearing the record of 83 set in 2014.
Shortly after completing his training to become a 911 dispatcher in Fort Collins, Brendan Solano handled a call he'll never forget — a suicidal man "holding the gun in his hands."
Solano spent an hour on the phone talking with the man about his military service, his kids and anything else he could think of to keep him on the phone until police could intervene and help the man.
"I didn't know what to ask, what to say," said Solano, 24, who became a dispatcher nearly three years ago. "I didn't know this guy. He doesn't know me. ... Those calls are really hard to deal with."
And there have been many of those calls.
“It's another person calling in and asking for help. You've got to be able to get them help, just like anybody else.”
Suicide and suicide threat calls to Fort Collins 911 increased by 40 percent from 2011 to 2015, according to Fort Collins Police Services.
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Saturday, June 25, 2016
Suicide Calls Up 40 Percent
Suicide calls are up and so are suicides. So what good does all the "awareness" do when they reach the point where they do not want to live instead of getting what they need to heal?