Greensboro, N.C. - Guilford Metro 911 Emergency Community Specialist Jessica Eason was just doing her job. She never expected to win a national award. But, if you listen to the way she handled a horrible situation, it will both impress you and break your heart.
Eason received a 911 call around 2:30 a.m. She knew she had to keep the nine-year-old boy on the line calm.
"You don't want to startle him. I didn't want him to cry. I didn't want him to get upset or run away from the phone because I need to maintain contact with him at all times," Eason said.
She stayed on the line, talking to the child as he stood next to his dying mother.
Eason: "Ask her if she can talk to you."
Child: "Mom. Can you talk to me? Anything? Can you move your head?"
When his mother didn't respond, Eason said, "I knew it was going to be bad. I just wanted to keep him talking. Keep him calm."
The boy's mother and her friend both died. During the investigation, law enforcement noticed Eason's efforts.
"The police department started sending us emails saying, 'This person did a great job talking to this child. We want them recognized for it," Guilford Metro 911 employee Melanie Neal said. "From the first part of the call, she maintained a calm voice with him, established a relationship and a good rapport with him."
Now, Eason is receiving a national award for her work on that day.
She has never spoken to the boy again. Guilford Metro 911 tried to find him so he could meet Eason, but they were unsuccessful.
"I always think about how that will affect him for the rest of his life," Eason said.
Eason will receive the award from the National Emergency Number Association on Tuesday in Charlotte.