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National Dispatcher Appreciation Week

This week is the time to recognize and thank our community 9-1-1 dispatchers! Thank you for your service!

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Grapevine Dispatcher honored as Tarrant County’s Telecommunicator of the Year

header_npstw2019Every year during the second week of April, the telecommunications personnel in the public safety community are honored during National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week. This event is a time to celebrate and thank those who dedicate their lives to serving their communities. [Source: NPSTW.org]

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Elizabeth Wheeler (Photo: Grapevine PD)

This year (as well as last year), a Grapevine Police Department employee has been chosen as the Tarrant County Telecommunicator of the Year by the Tarrant County 9-1-1 District. This year’s honor goes to Elizabeth Wheeler!

The following is a description of the incident that Wheeler was most recognized for, though she takes pride in providing excellent public service for all calls during all of her shifts, including recently keeping a calm demeanor during a high-speed chase:

On January 6 2019, Wheeler received a 9-1-1 call from a young man on Grapevine Lake whose kayak had tipped over and blown away. Elizabeth worked quickly to input a call for service and ascertain his location to send first responders.  

When the man stated that his legs were becoming numb, Elizabeth encouraged him to continue moving, and assured him that help was on the way. Wind gusts were up to 25 mph, and Elizabeth continuously monitored the caller’s latitude and longitude for any location updates. Once the fireboat spotted him and pulled him into the boat, the man was in a hypothermic state from the cold – his body temperature had dropped to 80 degrees. 

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(L-R): Captain Mark Bills; Dispatcher Elizabeth Wheeler; Rotarian Brad Schnautz, Deputy Superintendent for GCISD; and Fire Chief Darrell Brown

Elizabeth stayed on the line with the victim for 25 minutes until his rescue, providing the utmost care, concern and empathy. Her handling of this call and the calm nature that she provided is the perfect example of the positive impact Dispatchers can make.

Elizabeth was honored with a Vocational Service Award and monetary gift from Grapevine Rotary for her actions in this case. [Source: GrapevineTX.gov]

Elizabeth has worked as a Telecommunicator for 13 years, and has been at Grapevine Police Department for a year-and-a-half. She says that she often gets asked if she feels numb after taking so many calls. “I am a point of hope for the people who call me,” she said. “Even if something doesn’t seem like an emergency to me, I have to remember that the caller considers the issue as one. So, I never get ‘numb.’  I have to be present with the caller. I do this because I have a passion to help people.”

Elizabeth has had some humorous calls in her lengthy career. “Parents need to educate their kids about 9-1-1 being only for when someone is hurt or if there’s a fire – things like that. I’ve had kids call me and say they needed help with their homework. That was an emergency to them!

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Saving the Pig

“My weirdest call was in reference to someone’s pet pig getting out. We thought it was a micro or mini pig. Nope! It was a huge pot belly! Her owner was on vacation and it was the first time that the pig was without her ‘person.’ So we had officers respond and save the pig!” Elizabeth added.

As Tarrant County’s Telecommunicator of the Year, Wheeler had the opportunity to throw out the first pitch at the very first Telecommunicator Appreciation Night, at the Rangers vs. the Oakland A’s game at Globe Life Park on April 13! Unfortunately, the game was rained out, but she’ll have another opportunity on June 8, when the Rangers make up the game with the A’s in a double header.

Fortunately, Elizabeth and her family were able to enjoy the evening, despite the weather. 

CONGRATULATIONS ELIZABETH!

 

 

[Editor’s Note: If you’d like to thank your community dispatchers, please DO NOT call 9-1-1 to do so. Call the non-emergency number for your police department or stop by the Public Safety Building to express your thanks.]

Grapevine PD Blotter 4/8 – 4/11/19

APRIL 8, 2019:

  • THEFT OF PROPERTY (>=$100<$750; UNLOCKED* STOLEN BICYCLE): 900 TURNER RD
  • DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED: 3800 SHADY MEADOW DR
  • POSSESSION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE (PG 1 >=1G<4G): 1500 WILLIAM D TATE AVE
  • FRAUD USE/POSSESSION OF IDENTIFYING INFO (# ITEMS < 5; FRAUDULENTLY OBTAINED CREDIT CARD USED AT DEALERSHIP): 1400 W SH 114
  • FRAUD USE/POSSESSION OF IDENTIFYING INFO (# ITEMS < 5; DEBIT CARD INFORMATION USED WITHOUT CONSENT): 1500 W SH 114
  • THEFT OF PROPERTY (>=$100<$750; THEFT OF JEWELRY): 1600 W SH 114
  • AGGRAVATED ASSAULT W/DEADLY WEAPON: 2900 MUSTANG DR
  • THEFT OF PROPERTY (>=$2,500<$30K; UNLOCKED* VEHICLE ENTERED AND ITEMS STOLEN): 2400 BASS PRO DR
  • THEFT OF PROPERTY (>=$100<$750): 1600 W SH 114 
  • DISORDERLY CONDUCT – LANGUAGE (ARRESTEE CAUSED A DISTURBANCE WHILE USING PROFANE LANGUAGE): 1300 WILLIAM D TATE AVE
  • AGGRAVATED ASSAULT W/DEADLY WEAPON (PERSON WITH A GUN): 3500 N GRAPEVINE MILLS BLVD
  • DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED: 300 LUCAS DR
  • THEFT OF PROPERTY (>=$100<$750; THEFT OF CIGARETTES): 3100 IRA E WOODS AVE
  • ASSAULT OF A PUBLIC SERVANT: 2900 CANYON DR
  • INTERFERENCE W/PUBLIC DUTIES: 2900 CANYON DR
  • FALSE ALARM OR REPORT: 1300 WILLIAM D TATE AVE
  • DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED: 3500 S SH 121
  • IMMIGRATION HOLD (CRASH LEADS TO DWI ARREST): 3500 S SH 121
  • FRAUD/DESTRUCTION/REMOVAL/CONCEALMENT WRITING (DESTROY/ REMOVAL OF SECURITY SENSOR): 3000 GRAPEVINE MILLS PKWY
  • DEADLY CONDUCT: 1200 WILLIAM D TATE AVE
  • LOST PROPERTY: 2700 E GRAPEVINE MILLS CIR 
  • INDECENT EXPOSURE: 3000 MUSTANG DR 
  • POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA – TO INJECT, INHALE OR INJEST: 1700 KATIES WOODS DR

APRIL 9, 2019:

  • EVADING ARREST/DETENTION (THEFT FROM GAP): 3000 GRAPEVINE MILLS PKWY
  • THEFT OF PROPERTY (<$2,500 2/MORE PREVIOUS CONVICTIONS; THEFT FROM GAP):  3000 GRAPEVINE MILLS PKWY
  • THEFT OF PROPERTY (<$100 W/PREVIOUS CONVICTIONS; THEFT FROM VICTORIA’S SECRET): 3000 GRAPEVINE MILLS PKWY
  • THEFT OF PROPERTY (>=$100<$750; THEFT OF TWO BLUE ATLAS CEDAR TREES): 400 BALL ST
  • ASSAULT/BODILY INJURY BY A FAMILY/HOUSE MEMBER (2+ W/IN 12 MONTHS; BOYFRIEND HIT AND DRAGGED GIRLFRIEND): 3000 MUSTANG DR
  • CRIMINAL TRESPASS OF A HABITATION/SHELTER (CRIMINAL TRESPASS OF APARTMENT): 3100 MUSTANG DR
  • CRIMINAL MISCHIEF (>=$100<$750; WATER POURED IN VEHICLE GAS TANK/ ENGINE DAMAGE): 1600 W NORTHWEST HWY
  • THEFT OF PROPERTY (>=$750<$2,500; THEFT OF CELLPHONE): 1600 W SH 114
  • DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED (BAC >= 0.15): 100 S MAIN ST
  • UNLICENSED CARRYING OF WEAPON (DWI/UCW): 100 S MAIN ST

APRIL 11, 2019:

  • THEFT OF PROPERTY (>=$750<$2,500; THEFT OF CELL PHONE): 2300 POOL RD
  • BURGLARY OF VEHICLE: 2500 MS PARK-8 RD
  • POSSESSION OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES (PG 1 <1G): 5300 WILLIAM D TATE AVE
  • POSSESSION OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES (PG 2 >= 1G<4G): 5300 WILLIAM D TATE AVE
  • POSSESSION OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES (PG 3 < 28G): 5300 WILLIAM D TATE AVE
  • THEFT UNDER $100.00 (THEFT OF BATTERY): 800 WILDWOOD LN

[*EDITOR’S NOTE: PLEASE ALWAYS LOCK YOUR VEHICLE/LOCK UP YOUR BICYCLES. DON’T MAKE IT EASY FOR THIEVES TO MAKE YOU A VICTIM]

Editor’s Corner: It may not be dementia

By Stacey Doud

dementia-6signsabuse690x400We haven’t posted a whole lot on The Grapevine Source lately because we were dealing with a family health issue…and I have to say I learned a LOT.

My mother is a total morning person. When I couldn’t get her on the phone by 9am last Saturday, I drove to her apartment, which is about seven minutes away.

I got there and she was indeed in bed, which at 9am is unheard of for her. Everything was dark. I was able to wake her but she was disoriented and basically couldn’t even sit up in bed. She was trying to speak, but it came out in a whisper and made no sense.

So I called 9-1-1. Fortunately, a fire station is right down the road and the EMS/Fire guys were there within minutes. They assessed her, and her vital signs were perfect. But it was obvious that she was not herself, so they took her to Baylor Scott and White Hospital.

To make a long story short, it turned out that my mom had a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). I learned that infections like UTIs can mimic the symptoms of dementia in the elderly. WHO KNEW? The Occupational Therapist explained that the process looks like this: the person slowly stops hydrating as much as he/she should, as well as stops eating right (skipping meals altogether at times); he/she starts to feel yucky generally; then the mental symptoms can start. In my mom’s case, her psychiatric symptoms started sometime late Friday night/early Saturday morning because she was totally lucid and fine when I spoke to her Friday around 5pm.

The infection causes blood to flow to that area so that white blood cells can try to fight it, and some of that blood comes from the brain. When there’s not enough blood to the brain, the person gets confused and dementia-like. I found a pretty good article on this issue at SeniorLiving.org:

“One of the many unseen, hard-to-detect dangers that senior citizens face today is urinary tract infections, more often known as UTIs.  Though easily treatable, the symptoms of UTIs in the elderly can often mimic those of other more serious conditions, like dementia. Given that UTIs are one of the most frequent, hidden infections seniors suffer from, it is important to be able to differentiate them from other illnesses, then isolate and eliminate them.

“Older individuals are vulnerable to UTIs for several reasons. The biggest culprit is an immune system weakened by time that increases susceptibility to any infection…Seniors are also more prone to UTIs because they get an assortment of ailments that cause urinary retention.  There are certain health conditions they face that make it harder to pass urine, such as diabetes, kidney infections, and kidney stones.  In addition to slowing the process of urinating, diabetes raises glucose in the urine, which also increases the likelihood of a UTI. An older person’s inability to urinate properly can then necessitate a catheter, which is difficult to keep sanitary, making them even more vulnerable to the same infection.”

My mom is now back home and doing well. She uses a shower chair now to prevent falls, as her physical body is still a bit unstable. Home health comes by three times a week, and I check on her every day. She wants to maintain her independence, but she’s 73 years old. Fortunately, she is understanding of her limits. She makes a point to drink plenty of water (dehydration/electrolyte imbalances can add to the cognitive symptoms), and eats three meals a day, even if one meal is a nutrition drink.

We learned a lot, and want to prevent this from happening again. I like to think I am a biology nerd and know more than the average bear about how the body works, but I did not know this. It flabbergasted me.

I wanted to share it here so that our readers will know, and hopefully this knowledge can prevent or quickly treat this medical issue in at least one other person…hopefully more.

Have a blessed day and feel free to email questions to me if you have any. I will do my best to answer them (based on my experience) or ask our home health nurse if I do not know the answer.

SH 121 Closures this weekend

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North Gate Constructors will conduct drainage work across NB SH 121 this weekend from 8pm on Friday, 4/5 to 6am on Monday, 4/8. Visit DFWConnector.com for full details.

Pearland’s longest-serving Chief of Police dead after almost 40 years of service

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FUNERAL UPDATE BELOW

Pearland, Texas’s longest-serving Chief of Police, J.C. Doyle, unexpectedly passed away yesterday, April 3, 2019. He had recently retired in 2018.

Doyle served with the Pearland Police Department since 1979.

In his time with the department, he served as a patrol and motorcycle office, detective, patrol sergeant, lieutenant and later as the commander for a multi-agency Special Weapons and Tactics team.

From 1994-1999, Doyle served as Assistant Chief of Police under the direction of P.M. Hogg. Doyle succeeded Hogg as Chief.

He served as Chief from 1999 until his retirement in 2018, making him the longest-serving chief in the department’s 50-year history.

Chief Doyle was instrumental in acquiring and implementing the state of the art radio system and laptop system currently being used by the department.

He will be greatly missed. 

[Fact source: The Reporter News]

[Editor’s Note: We at The Grapevine Source, especially because our beginning was in Pearland, wishes all involved peace and healing. You will all be in our prayers.]

UPDATE: 

  • Visitation: Sunday, April 7, 2019 at Niday Funeral Home, 12440 Beamer Road, Houston, TX 77089
  • Funeral Service: Monday, April 8, 2019 at Sagemont Church, 11300 S. Sam Houston Parkway East (Beltway 8), Houston, TX 77089

**No procession after the service**

Water Main Closure Thursday April 4

Our Utility Field Operations team will be preforming needed repairs to part of our water distribution system on Thursday, April 4 from 8am to 4pm. These repairs will require closing the water main that serves the west side of the 1200 & 1300 blocks of South Main Street. Please view the aerial image depicting the traffic control plan and the location where crews will be working at bit.ly/2FWWin6.

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Outdoor Warning Sirens Will Sound TODAY – ONLY A TEST –

The Outdoor Warning Siren test will be conducted today. On the first Wednesday of each month, we conduct our regularly scheduled outdoor warning siren test at 1pm. The test will last approximately two minutes.

We conduct these tests to ensure that the siren system is working properly. These tests are conducted on the first Wednesday of each month at 1pm across the entire North Texas region, provided that the weather is not overcast.

Indiana school district turns unused cafeteria food into take-home meals for kids

By ED ERNSTES, WSBT 22 Reporter

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Elkhart schools are teaming up with a South Bend-based food rescue for a pilot program. (WSBT 22 photo)

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WSBT) – An Indiana school district is taking steps to make sure kids have enough to eat.

Elkhart Community Schools students usually get breakfast and lunch at school, but on the weekends at home, they may be without food.

That’s where the South Bend-based non-profit Cultivate comes in: it provides weekend meals to a small group of students in the elementary school pilot program.

Read more from ABC 3340…

Police file charge against Dallas woman beaten by Deep Ellum bartender

By Teresa Gubbins

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L’Daijohnique Lee (YouTube)

A woman who was the victim of an assault in Deep Ellum now has charges filed against her for causing damage to her attacker’s pickup truck.

L’Daijohnique Lee, 24, has been charged with felony criminal mischief, according to a Dallas Police Department press conference on April 2.

Lee was beaten on March 21 by Austin Shuffield, a bartender at a Deep Ellum club, after a confrontation in a parking lot which was captured on video by a witness.

Read more from CultureMap Dallas…