As a telecommunications operator for the City of League City, Rebekah Schwartz is experienced with keeping 911 callers calm and collected until the police or fire department can arrive. Sometimes that even includes keeping the caller’s mind off what’s happening around them, or what they think is happening.
During a frantic 911 call with a woman who believed she and her five-year old son were being watched and in danger of being sacrificed, Schwartz was able to calm the woman down and keep her mind off her perceived fears until officers arrived.
“Schwartz’s ability to recognize the signs of mental illness and her quick response to a very critical situation assisted in saving the life of a five-year old child who ultimately could not defend himself,” said League City Chief of Police Gary Ratliff. “I commend her and all our telecommunicator operators.”
At the April 7 City Council meeting, Chief Ratliff recognized Schwartz and her dispatcher colleagues as part of National Telecommunicators Week which is April 8-14. Schwartz received special recognition as the City’s 2018 Telecommunicator of the Year.
“I am deeply honored by this recognition,” said Schwartz, who has worked as a League City dispatcher for 11 years. “I love my job because I get to help people every day and make an impact in our community.”
Joining Schwartz in receiving accolades during the council meeting was Ashley Neumann, who was honored with the City’s 2018 Silent Hero award for her exceptional level of empathy and patience with callers, and her ability to stay calm in high stress situations. Neumann demonstrated these attributes recently while staying on the phone with two small girls who witnessed their father shoot their mother and fatally wound their stepfather.