Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Distress Call Transcript

I came across this distress call transcript a few days back while killing time on the MRT with my phone, surfing on BBC

Fortunately, few of us will ever have to make such a call, or will be at the receiving end of such distress calls, but i gather the essence of humanity so starkly portrayed in the conversation will make reading it a worthwhile experience. 

I am really impressed by the professionalism of the operator.

The 999 call from massacre house

Two drug dealers have been convicted of shooting dead three men at a house in Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire. Moments after the massacre one of the men's girlfriends, Claire Evans, who had herself been stabbed, rang 999. The following are edited extracts of the transcript of that call.

The murders took place in this house
The Cowells lived in the commuter town of Bishop's Stortford

Operator: Ambulance, emergency.

Miss Evans: I need an ambulance.

Operator: Where do you want the ambulance to come to?

Miss Evans: Plaw Hatch Close, Bishop's Stortford.

Operator: Plaw Hatch Close?

Miss Evans: Yeah, please. I've been stabbed loads. Can you hurry up.

Operator: You've been stabbed. OK.

Miss Evans: Please hurry... I think the people are still here.

Operator: The people are still there are they? OK.

Miss Evans: Please hurry.

Operator: Right, well we've got the police as well as the ambulance on the way to you OK? So try not to panic.

Miss Evans: I've got my daughter here as well.

Operator: All right my love, all right. Now where have you been stabbed?

Miss Evans: Everywhere, in my head, my back, everywhere.

Operator: And the attackers are still there?

Miss Evans: I think they've gone. I'm not sure.

Operator: Right, OK. Is there any serious bleeding my love?

Miss Evans: Yeah, I'm covered... it's everywhere, it's pouring, I don't know if I'm going to live.

Operator: Come on now stay positive. You've got a little girl there, OK? Stay positive my love. OK, try and be calm, we've got the police and the ambulance on the way to you now. How old is your little girl?

Miss Evans: Three.

Operator: Right, is she there, can she see what's happened?

Miss Evans: Yeah, she can see it, I can't move... It really hurts...

Operator: Are you in a house or a flat?

Miss Evans: In a house.

Operator: Who lives there with you then?

Miss Evans: It's my boyfriend's parents' house.

Operator: Right, and are they there?

Miss Evans: Yeah, they're downstairs, I think. I think I heard guns as well I think.

Operator: You heard guns as well?

Miss Evans: Yeah, downstairs.

Operator: And you think you've heard some shots downstairs?

Miss Evans: Yes [voice in the background, inaudible].

Operator: Who's that with you?

Miss Evans: It's my boyfriend's cousin [Ian Jennings].

Operator: OK. Can I talk to him, can I talk to him my love?

Mr Jennings: Hello.

Operator: Hello, this is the ambulance service... This lady has been stabbed, yeah?

Mr Jennings: Pardon?

Operator: The lady you're with now has been stabbed, is that right?

Mr Jennings: Yeah, the lady's been stabbed, yes.

Operator: She said she heard some gunshots as well.

Mr Jennings: Yeah.

Operator: Is there anybody in the house injured?

Mr Jennings: Five people that are injured. She's been stabbed in the back and everything. Oh, God... Did they take all the gear? Did you see?

Miss Evans: No idea. Ian, where's Matt?

Mr Jennings: Dead mate, so is that Tony.

Operator: Right, OK my love now they're nearly with you now OK?

Mr Jennings: I think my mum's lying down there.

Operator: Are you all right?

Miss Evans: No, I think he just told me my boyfriend's dead... Please hurry up.

Operator: Right, what did you just say to me?

Miss Evans: I think he just said my boyfriend's dead.

Shooting victims Keith Cowell, 52, and his son Matthew, 17
Matthew Cowell (right) and his father lay dead downstairs

Operator: Listen, listen to me my love. The ambulance is almost with you, OK?

Mr Jennings: She can't talk.

Operator: Try and stay calm. I know it's very very difficult and I know you must be in a lot of pain... How's the little girl, is she all right?

Miss Evans: She's shaking.

Operator: Yeah, I'm sure she is.

Miss Evans: All this blood is pouring out of me.

Operator: Well, I'll stay on the phone my love, I won't let you go until they get to you.

Miss Evans: I think my boyfriend's gone.

Operator: Now where is your boyfriend, downstairs?

Miss Evans: He must be downstairs and I think that his dad's gone and all.

Operator: You think that your boyfriend and his dad are both dead?

Miss Evans: Yeah... This pain's getting really, really bad, really, really bad.

Operator: Right, OK.

Miss Evans: I think they've just pulled up, can you send them upstairs.

Operator: Have they just turned up?

Miss Evans: Yeah.

Operator: All right, well, are you going to go now or do you want me to stay until they come up to you?

Miss Evans: No, they're here, thank you very much.

Operator: You're more than welcome my love, I hope this is all all right for you.

Miss Evans: Thank you.

Operator: All right, take care now.

Miss Evans: Bye. 

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