Charlotte County deputy saves man’s life

Reporter: Erika Jackson Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:

A deputy was able to save a man’s life after Charlotte County 911 dispatchers received a call for help. That deputy acted quickly to find a man in need.

You can hear the confusion in the 911 call. “911 what is the address of your emergency? hello? hello? can you hear me?”

This call may have been an accident or…it could be something more serious.

Zoe Scales is the Communications Operator for the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office. “You never know what it’s going to be on the other line, or on the other end of that phone call,” said Scales.

Charlotte County 911 operators were able to pinpoint where the call came from. It was a hotel property near Kings Highway and Veterans Boulevard. Then, they sent Deputy Lane Stealey to see what was going on.

“I heard some awful sound that I couldn’t even describe to you, really,” said Stealey.

“I quickly realized the sound that I heard prior was not any sort of animal or child playing or anything like that. It was the sound of someone who was without air trying to get my attention who couldn’t actually speak any longer,” Stealey said.

That’s when Stealey saw the man. He was hanging from a tree.

“I observed a middle-aged male hanging from a tree with a belt around his neck reaching out towards me. And that’s when I got out of my car and started running over to him,” he said.

Deputy Stealey had just seconds to save the man. “That was definitely probably one of his last breaths if I didn’t get there in time,” he said.

Luckily, Deputy Stealey did get there in time. The man told Stealey he was thinking about suicide. So, he climbed the tree and called 911. But, he then slipped and dropped his phone.

Stealey gives praise to the dispatchers. “If the dispatcher didn’t think that it was anything serious, this man wouldn’t be alive today,” said Stealey.

Quick thinking leads to quick action which leads to a life-saving response.

The sheriff’s office says that it is the protocol to follow up with two phone calls when the other end goes silent. They send a deputy to respond if they can track the phone’s location.

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