An Ohio woman desperate for help used a special code to get help for her mother.
911 dispatcher, Tim Teneyck, is being hailed a hero after recognizing a “pizza order” as code for a domestic violence situation. The dispatcher didn’t pick up on the seriousness at first but soon realized the caller needed urgent help.
“I would like to order a pizza.”
Because it didn’t register at first, Teneyck told the woman that she called the wrong number to order a pizza. She quickly corrected him with another calm but urgent plea.
“No, no, no you’re not understanding.”
Tiffany Urban called 911 because her mother was being abused by an ex-boyfriend. After her request for a pizza, it soon became clear to Teneyck that he may have a domestic violence situation on his hands.
He had heard about things like this on Facebook but never experienced it firsthand as a dispatcher. Because of this prior knowledge from social media, he knew to act quickly.
“You see it on Facebook but it’s not something that anybody has ever been trained for. We are just trained to listen.” – Tim Teneyck
“I’m getting you now,” Tim replied
After hearing her voice, it all clicked for Tim. This must have been a huge relief for Tiffany who was taking a huge risk in calling for help. In that moment, however, she was only thinking of her mother. Teneyck asks Tiffany if she needs medical help for her mother but thankfully she does not.
Teneyck quickly alerts officers and gives them an important warning.
‘Turn your sirens off before you get there. Caller ordered a pizza and agreed with everything that I said that there’s a domestic violence going on.’
“Excellent work on the part of our dispatcher,” – Police Chief, Mike Navarre
In his forty-two years of service as an Oregon Police Chief, Mike Navarre had never heard of the ‘pizza ordering’ technique to indicate domestic violence. He praised Tim’s efforts and admitted that other dispatchers may have simply hung up.
But Tim did not hang up. He listened.
It’s possible that Tim saved Tiffany’s mother from getting seriously hurt that day. There is definitely something to be said for listening and tuning into what isn’t being said. Police Chief Navarre spoke about using the pizza order code in a dire situation.
“Coming up with a code to alert law enforcement that you are in trouble is the right thing to do.” – Police Chief Navarre
He suggested that anyone in a bad situation should somehow convey to the dispatcher that they are in trouble. “This woman did that,” said Chief Navarre. “She did that not with words but with the tone of her voice.”
“He handled the call beautifully and it had a happy ending.” – Police Chief Navarre
The police arrested and locked up the alleged abuser.
According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, 1 in 4 women (24.3%) and 1 in 7 men (13.8%) aged 18 and older in the US have been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime. – thehotline.org
If you or someone you love is dealing with a domestic violence situation, there is help. National Domestic Violence Hotline – thehotline.org, 1800-799-SAFE (7233)
Now watch the heroic actions of the 911 dispatcher in the video below.
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