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Archive for Friday, December 1, 2000

Cell phone call saves wounded deer hunter

Dispatchers work from 50 miles away to direct ambulances to accident scene

December 1, 2000

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— Emergency dispatchers 50 miles away directed rescuers to a deer hunter who dialed 911 on his cellular phone after accidentally shooting himself in the stomach, authorities said.

The 29-year-old man, from Rantoul in eastern Kansas, was in critical condition Wednesday night after surgery at a hospital in Overland Park. Authorities had not released his name.

The man told dispatchers he was hunting near the Franklin-Anderson county line, about 15 miles south of Ottawa and near Richmond. He stopped at his pickup for lunch about 2:15 p.m.

His pistol slipped from its holster when he bent down, and a hollow-point .357 Magnum bullet shot through his stomach and out his back.

When the man dialed 911, a cellular tower in Overland Park picked up the call. A police dispatcher answered the call and sent it to the Emergency Communication Center in Mission, which dispatches ambulances and fire equipment.

Dispatcher Jim Millican took the call from the wounded hunter, and worked to keep him talking as another dispatcher guided firefighters to him.

"He was remarkably calm throughout this whole thing, so that helped us tremendously," Millican said.

The man said he was dizzy and was losing feeling in his legs, but he didn't want to see how heavily he was bleeding from the wound, Millican said.

Because the man didn't want to check the wound, Millican instead started talking to him about his hunting trip and where he was from anything to keep him alert in case rescuers needed more information from him.

Firefighters found the hunter about 2:35 p.m., 20 minutes after the shooting, and helped him until a helicopter arrived.

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