For the second time in nine months, 911 dispatcher Savannah Lovell was recognized by the city of John Day for her professional handling of an emergency call to the John Day Emergency Communications Center.
Last March, Mayor Ron Lundbom presented the Golden Stork Award to Lovell for providing assistance in the emergency delivery of a baby girl on Jan. 21.
The city recognized Lovell again Sept. 25 with a Life Saving Award for her “quick and professional performance in the line of duty” following a 911 call reporting a fire at the Strawberry Village Apartment complex in Prairie City.
“The emergency 911 call that Savannah answered would have been unintelligible to the untrained ear, as it was a hysterical caller screaming that there was a fire at a local apartment complex with babies still inside,” Dispatch Manager Valerie Maynard said in her award letter.
Two young girls died in the Nov. 30, 2017, fire, but four other members of the family were transported to Blue Mountain Hospital, and one was transported by air ambulance to another hospital.
“Although this was a tragic incident that emergency responders hope to never have to experience in their career, Savannah responded to this quickly and calmly, getting the appropriate responders on scene in the shortest time possible,” Maynard said. “Savannah’s actions during those early morning hours, when most are at home sleeping with their families, saved lives and homes on that day.”
Born and raised in Grant County, Lovell graduated from Grant Union High School. She left another job in 2015 to become a dispatcher.
“It’s more interesting than an office job,” she said.
Lovell said she’s looking forward to working in the new 911 dispatch center that will operate out of the John Day Fire Hall starting January 2019 after the Intergovernmental Council takes over management of emergency communications from the city.